Monday, April 29, 2013

W: Wang Lung, Madame Wu

The Good Earth was not my first Pearl Buck novel. That was the Pavilion of Women. And that was another W.
Wang Lung is a poor farmer, the protagonist of the Pulitzer prize winning book The Good Earth from Nobel laureate Pearl S. Buck. His roots are deep in Chinese traditions and he believes in the power of the land. The narrative of his coming into manhood through his family, his children and his land and then the decline of his beliefs is a saga which could only be attempted by Pearl Buck. I thought his relationship with his wife (who he marries after seeing that she is frugal and a hard worker, and doesnt speak much) was very interesting and pointed to his self interest.

Pavilion of WomenMadame Wu. On her fortieth birthday, Madame Wu decides to take a break from physical part of marital life and tells her husband to take on a concubine. She has given it much though and thinks that she is fine with such a decision but the story evolves with an explosion of interpersonal drama that unfolds as the lady of the house picks a mistress for her husband.
Buck's narrative is absolutely fabulous, rather like peaches on a summer afternoon, soft, fuzzy, and so very refreshing.

2 comments:

  1. I remember reading this one. I borrowed the book from you. I found the story and the characters and their interplay very powerful - and Madame Wu stood out for me over all these years! Thank you for refreshing my memory with your wonderful post.

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  2. Read this book a long time ago. Thanx for refreshing my memories. must reread Pearl Buck.....

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