Burying The Bones by Hilary Spurling
Pearl Buck in China (Import)

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This is a thrilling portrait of the extraordinary childhood of Pearl Buck, the now-forgotten bestselling Nobel Prize winning novelist. Pearl Buck was raised in China by her American parents, Presbyterian missionaries from Virginia. Blonde and blue-eyed she looked startlingly foreign, but felt as at home as her Chinese companions. She ran free on the grave-littered grasslands behind her house, often stumbling across the tiny bones of baby girls who had been suffocated at birth. Buck's father was a terrifying figure, with a maniacal zeal for religious conversion - a passion rarely shared by the local communities he targeted. He drained the family's budget for his Chinese translation of the New Testament, while his aggrieved, long-suffering wife did her utmost to create a homely environment for her children, several of whom died tragically young. Pearl Buck would eventually rise to eminence in America as a bestselling author, but in this startlingly original biography, Spurling recounts with elegance and great insight her unspeakable upbringing in a China that was virtually unknown to the West.

About Hilary Spurling

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Hilary Spurling is the author of the universally acclaimed biography of Henri Matisse which was the Whitbread Book of the Year in 2005. Her biography of Ivy Compton-Burnett won the Heinemann and Duff Cooper prizes. She has also written biographies of Paul Scott and La Grande Thérèse (Profile). She has been an arts critic for the Spectator, Observer and Telegraph, and lives in London.
Published January 1, 2010 by Profile Books Ltd. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Burying The Bones

The Guardian

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It was only after I started work on my own Chinese book, that I realised it was Buck who wrote the story I used to know by heart as a child.

May 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Burying The Bones: Pearl Buck...

The Telegraph

Most of the action occurs in China, and drawing on Buck’s .

Apr 25 2010 | Read Full Review of Burying The Bones: Pearl Buck...


Now she settled to write, wrote with astonishing grace and speed, and all of a sudden the story of Pearl Buck in China starts to matter.

Mar 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Burying The Bones: Pearl Buck...


Biographer Hilary Spurling has created an immensely readable account of Buck’s life, which encompassed all the violent upheavals that turned Imperial China into a Communist state.

Mar 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Burying The Bones: Pearl Buck...

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