Told in the tradition of Chinese literature, Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth runs the gamut of universal themes: women's rights, the importance of family, class conflict, spiritual and moral trials, and the hardships of the modern world. It also brings into focus a theme that stretches far beyond the boundaries of Chinese society: the importance of simplicity.
About the Book
Published in 1931, The Good Earth is still many readers' first glimpse at the inner life of China and its people. See how this deceptively simple tale unfolds like a flower and takes root in your heart.
Who Is Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker?
Born in West Virginia in the late 1800s and raised in China on American history, Bible verses and Confucian proverbs, she was the first American woman to win both the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes.
Sum It Up!
If you're just beginning The Good Earth or have finished this novel, use our chapter summaries to uncover each part of Pearl S. Buck's beautiful masterpiece.
Start the Conversation
Use these reading questions for every part of the novel to get things rolling at your next book club meeting. When you're done discussing, take our quizzes to put your knowledge to the test!
Print Your Bookmark
Tackle this selection with Your Quick Guide to The Good Earth— we've got character descriptions at a glance on one convenient bookmark.
Journey with the Characters
In the small farming community where Wang Lung lives, every character's life is inexplicably connected. Find out why Wang Lung and O-lan's sons embody the hope and the future of the family and explore the good lives of women in Wang Lung's household.