Hey Classics Challengers: Have someone choose a gift for you

Two categories and less than two weeks. And in those two weeks, two holidays and various family gatherings that will take me away from reading.

Being the gift-giving season, the obvious next category is a classic chosen for you by someone else. The only rule is that person has to have read that book.

So mbuck 2.jpegy wife chose for me the book she read for our Pulitzer Prize-winner category this year: “The Good Earth” by Pearl S. Buck. She said it was her favorite book this year.

Buck was saddled with the name Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker by her missionary parents. That’s a mouthful, but when you know her father’s name was Absalom Sydenstricker you can’t help but think she got off easy. She was called Pearl from early on, and got “Buck” from her first husband, missionary John Buck.

Her parents’ missionary work was in China, where most of her fiction is set. In addition to the Pulitzer, she won the Nobel Prize in 1938 for “her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces.”

Buck’s Nobel Prize may have seemed right at the time, but it has since become somewhat controversial. I’d have to agree, seeing as she was given the award a mere eight years after her first publication. This piece from 1992 is interesting, too.

Anyway, I’ll be on a slow boat to China for the holidays. Who chose what for you? Let me know in the comments.

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