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Friday, January 27, 2012

How Pearl S Buck got her Nobel Prize in Literature


  Did her works really mattered? Was she really worth the Prize in Literature? What went on behind the doors? Here are the interesting facts dug out from the history of Nobel Prizes. Read on… they make good reading.

Pearl S Buck
Pearl Sydenstricker Buck {1892-1973}

  Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (June 26, 1892 – March 6, 1973) was born in Hillsboro, West Virginia. She grew up in China and lived there till 1934. Pearl S Buck began her writings in 1920s. Her first collection of short stories titled, "East Wind, West Wind, was published in 1930. It was followed by "The Good Earth" (1931), "Sons" (1932), "The First Wife and Other Stories" (1933), "The Mother" (1934), "A House Divided" (1935), and "This Proud Heart" (1938) and several other books. She also published a biographical novel of her parents titled "The Exile" and "Fighting Angel" were published in 1936 and later brought out together as "The Spirit and the Flesh" (1944). Her novel "The Good Earth" (1931) became the best-selling book ultimately winning her the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and Nobel Prize in 1938.
 
  When Pearl Sydenstricker Buck’s name was proposed in 1938 for the laureate in literature, ten of the eighteen judges opposed her. Dr Osterling, the then Secretary of Swedish Academy with a voting right on literary awards led the opposition from the front while Dr Hedin along with Selma Lagerlof, a laureate in 1909 successfully rallied round Buck.

  What is emphasized here is the division in Committee vote was not due to the questionable merits of her works; but because Dr Osterling was eminently prejudiced against Americans. He is reported to have quipped that the Americans do not need Nobel Cheque for they receive more money from Hollywood than the Prize is worth.

Sven Anders Hedin – 1865-1952
  And Sven Anders Hedin’s support to Buck… well read on what Hedin said later ruefully, ‘Pearl Buck and her husband published my last book, a biography of Chiank Kai-Shek. They gave me too little money for it, and to think of how I got her the Prize.’ This is how the judges deliberated. 

  Anyway Pearl S Buck got her Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938 much to the delight of her fans; and her citation read as follows: "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces". 

The 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature
  The 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Tomas Tranströmer of Sweden. The Prize motivation read as "because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality".

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