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My Several Worlds

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  160 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Autobiography of Pearl S Buck. A memoir of the life of the first female Nobel Laureate for Literature, who was also a world citizen and a major humanitarian, Pearl (Sydenstricker) Buck (1892-1973) three quarters of the way through her life. Published by the John Day Company to whose president, Richard John Walsh (1886-1960), she was then married, the book was successful an ...more
Paperback, 472 pages
Published November 1st 1954 by Pocket Books
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Community Reviews

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Carrie Kellenberger
My grandmother Louise gave me a dog-eared and obviously much loved copy of My Several Worlds back in 2002 when she first learned about my plans for moving to China. That book is now one of my most prized possessions, not only because it's one my favorite all-time books, but also because my grandmother and I shared a common love of reading and it was one of the last things she passed on to me before her death.

Pearl S. Buck's autobiography of growing up with a missionary family in China during th
...more
Kevin Kane
This book received the high honor of placement on my special shelf with other books I've designated in years gone by as my "Book of the Year."

My copy was discovered almost by accident on the dusty shelves in a church library a few years ago. It was there along with many other accounts of missionaries. This one caught my eye because it was autobiographical and written by a very formidable author. I'm not sure why I waited so long to finally get around to reading it.

Once I picked it up, I couldn'
...more
Molly
Aug 27, 2012 Molly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: china
If you are interested in a more complete perspective on Pearl Buck's life, I suggest you read Pearl Buck in China: Journey to The Good Earthby Hillary Spurling. After reading Ms. Spurling's book, I realized how in this book, Ms. Buck purposely left out most of the more distressing and less attractive aspects of her life in China. Her missionary father's complete disregard for his family's well-being was shocking. She must have had incredible inner reserves as she had it pretty rough.....and then ...more
Ellen
Having just read Pearl of China for book club, I thought what better time than now to get the whole story straight from the source. I enjoyed the story behind Min's quasi-fictionalized telling of Buck's life from a Chinese perspective, however this, Buck's own autobiography, was what I was looking for. Pearl Buck led an interesting life and is a spectacular author, here she didn't disappoint as she gives some of her life's highlights and the lessons she's learned on all sides of the globe. I mus ...more
Joy
Not her best book. She lost me about half way through. Definitely this is a dated perspective on world events of the era in which the book is written, and there are many socially unacceptable (not PC)observations of Americans since she was raised in China (even though American by birth) that are seemingly ignorant and perhaps too harsh in their criticism of a culture she was less familiar with. But she did get the idea across very well that the Chinese were (are) greatly misunderstood and stereo ...more
Karyl
A fascinating account of what China was like in the last years of its final dynasty, as well as a first-hand account of the changes precipitated by the Communist takeover. As the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries raised in a very Chinese manner, Pearl S. Buck witnessed these monumental changes and gives some insight as to why the Communists were able to take control.

I read a condensed version of this book, called My Several Worlds, and it has made me want to read the full version to learn e
...more
Abigail
The first two thirds of this book were fascinating. It was really inter ed sting to read about what was going on in China in the early 1900s from someone who grew up as a third culture kid. Buck is a great writer as well and it kept me engaged. The last third of the book however got a little tedious and was not nearly as interesting. In fact it got to the point where it felt like it was just dragging on. So, read it for the cool China stuff and skim the end.
Machel
I loved this memoir. Thick with history in her own telling of her personal life, I was glued to this book for three days. I found the last quarter of the book not as engrossing as the first half. Maybe because that portion was when PB had moved to the U.S. ....
I am now convinced Poisonwood Bible by BK was inspired by PB's actual life. (set in different setting of course.) I want to read all of PB's books. I am fascinated by her moral courage and trailblazing for helping orphans that need parents
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Alison
In My Several Worlds: A Personal Record, Pearl S. Buck contrasts her life growing up in China with life in the United States. The book is divided into four sections; each section has a heading that identifies Buck’s location in the United States as she is writing. She then presents prior experiences to compare with her adult life. She describes the situation of American missionaries and teachers in China during the early 1900’s and prior to her exodus in 1934
Leland Bryant
Well worth the read, even though so much has changed in China and the world in general. It helps to have read her biographies of her parents, and to have a general sense of American attitudes towards China (especially Chinese Communism on the one hand and Chiang Kai-Shek on the other) to evaluate what Mrs. Buck tells us in this memoir.
Joe Mossa

this is a great autobiography of a great woman and great writer. she won the nobel prize for lit in 38 and the pulitzer prize for THE GOOD EARTH in 32. she knows asia, education theory, adoption theory, parenthood, people,government, places. this books ends in 53 and she had 20 more years to write after that.
Lia
Along with Homesick Puffin Modern Classics, this book gives a wealth of insight and understanding of what it was like to grow up as a white child in the middle of the Chinese.
John Steinbeck
I was reading this aloud with my college beau. Three quarters into it he petered out - said PB was boooooring. I loved this book, thought my dad would. He read it, then read all her books, then went on a trip to China.
Swhite
I can't remember how I got my hands on this book but reading about her life in China and the US planted a seed for me to explore other cultures. I rated this book amazing because I think she is amazing.
Karren Ashley
I think she was an exceptional person who certainly had the privilege of living at time when she found she could contribute so much to society. Truly she gave much to society.
Renate
Fabulous to read her account of growing up in China and PA and the impact of the Chinese revolution. Interesting to read her ideas on all the marriages.
Linda
Buck, born in the United States but raised in China, tells about her life abroad and at home.

(Working from a list of books I read years ago.)
Debby
Excellent! I read this when I was much younger, now I see a few flaws, but still very interesting and well-written.
Janet Aileen
A very nicely written chronicle of Pearl Buck's experiences in China as an American citizen.
Ann
I loved visiting the Far East vicariously through this book.
Kasumi Kozina
Pearl Buck has an amazing eloquence with words.
Zaara
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Jan 15, 2015
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Jan 05, 2015
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Dec 25, 2014
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Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (1892–1973) was a bestselling and Nobel Prize–winning author. Her classic novel The Good Earth (1931) was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and William Dean Howells Medal. Born in Hillsboro, West Virginia, Buck was the daughter of missionaries and spent much of the first half of her life in China, where many of her books are set. In 1934, civil unrest in China forced Buck back to t ...more
More about Pearl S. Buck...
The Good Earth (House of Earth, #1) Pavilion of Women Imperial Woman Peony Sons (House of Earth, #2)

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“Fate is unalterable only in the sense that given a cause, a certain result must follow, but no cause is inevitable in itself, and man can shape his world if he does not resign himself to ignorance.” 4 likes
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