Pearl S. Buck (1892–1973), the daughter of missionaries, was born in West Virginia but spent most of her time until 1934 in China. She began writing while in China and published her first novel shortly after returning to the United States. Her novel The Good Earth was the bestselling fiction book in the United States in 1931 and 1932, and it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938 she became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces.”
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