Pearl S. Buck
Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu, was an American writer, novelist, philanthropist, and political activist. As the daughter of missionaries, Buck spent most of her life before 1934 in China, after which she was not permitted to return. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1932 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938.

Full Name Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker Buck / Sai Zhenzhu
Who writer
Birth Date

June 26, 1892

Death Date March 6, 1973
Country United States / China
Born Hillsboro, West Virginia, USA
Died Danby, Vermont, USA
Cause of Death lung cancer

Randolph College

Cornell University

Father Absalom Sydenstricker
Mother Caroline Stulting Sydenstricker

John Lossing Buck

Richard Walsh


Edgar Sydenstricker

Grace Sydenstricker Yaukey


Carol Buck

Janice Walsh


Buck was a friend of prominent Chinese writers Xu Zhimo and Lin Yutang. They encouraged her to write, and both were highly inspirational to her career.

Buck met Richard Nixon in 1972, and the idea of her accompanying him on a presidential trip to China was discussed and planned. However, China announced that it viewed Buck as an "American cultural imperialist," and that they would not allow her to return, mainly thanks to her book Satan Never Sleeps, a novel about Communist tyranny in China, published in 1969. Buck was "heartbroken" at not being allowed to return to China.

Buck was a friend of James A. Michener, and in 1949 he was a contributor to Welcome House, her adoption agency for Asian and mixed-race children. Oscar Hammerstein II and Dorothy Hammerstein also contributed.

Buck met King Gustav V of Sweden in 1938, when he awarded her the Nobel Prize in Literature.


Hillsboro, West Virginia, USA - Born here, 1892.

Huaian, China - Lived here, 1892 - 1896.

Zhenjiang, China - Lived here on and off, 1896 - 1901, 1902 - 1911, and 1914 - 1917.

Shanghai, China - Lived here, 1901.

Lexington, Virginia, USA - Visited here, 1901.

Lynchburg, Virginia, USA - Attended university here, 1911 - 1914.

Suzhou, China - Lived here, 1917 - 1920.

Nanjing, China - Lived here, 1920 - 1934.

Ithaca, New York, USA - Earned master's degree here, 1924. Visited here, 1930.

Unzen, Japan - Lived here, 1927 - 1928.

Perkasie, Pennsylvania, USA - Lived here, 1935 - 1973.

Stockholm, Sweden - Was awarded Nobel Prize here, 1938.

Danby, Vermont, USA - Died here, 1973.

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