The New Year: A Novel

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John Day Company, 1968 - Fiction - 255 pages
General: This is a novel of hope and reconciliation. It is the story of an American father and his Eurasian son living in Korea. It is not without some soul-searching and a great deal of understanding on the part of his American wife that they get together as a family. The father is an aspiring politician in Philadelphia. Put in shock and a moral dilemma by the sudden knowledge of his son conceived while a soldier stationed in Korea, the father weighs his political future against his responsibilities to himself and his wife. The situation is further complicated by his childless marriage. The New Year is very modern in its treatment of a politician's seemingly conflicting goals of public success and conscientious personal behavior. The story confronts the disparity of two cultures: east and west and two generations. It is a very timely book for all of those reasons, but the reward of reading this book is Pearl Buck's ability as a story teller. Marital love, parental love, alienation, adoption, and ambition--they are all woven into this marvelous, poignant novel.

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About the author (1968)

Pearl S. Buck, June 26, 1892 - March 6, 1973 Pearl Sydenstricker Buck was an American author, best know for her novels about China. Buck was born on June 26, 1892, in Hillsboro, West Virginia, but as the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries she was taken to China in infancy. She received her early education in Shanghai, but returned to the United States to attend college, and graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Virginia in 1914. Buck became a university teacher there and married John Lossing Buck, an agricultural economist, in 1917. Buck and her husband both taught in China, and she published magazine articles about life there. Her first novel East Wind, West Wind was published in 1930. Buck achieved international success with The Good Earth, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. This story of a Chinese peasant family's struggle for survival was later made into a MGM film. Buck resigned from the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions after publishing an article that was critical of missionaries. She returned to the United States because of political unrest in China. Buck's novels during this period include Sons, A House Divided, and The Mother. She also wrote biographies of her father (Fighting Angel) and her mother (The Exile). She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. During her career, Buck published over 70 books: novels, nonfiction, story collections, children's books, and translations from the Chinese. She also wrote under the pseudonym John Sedges. In the United States, Buck was active in the civil rights and women's rights movements. In 1942 she founded the East and West Association to promote understanding between Asia and the West. In 1949, Buck established Welcome House, the first international interracial adoption agency. In 1964, she established the Pearl S. Buck foundation to sponsor support for Amerasian children who were not considered adoptable. Pearl Buck died in Danbury, Vermont, on March 6, 1973.

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