Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Reflections from Women's History Month 2009

Chiefland Citizen News

"Pearl Buck (1892-1973), author of nearly 100 works, is often overlooked in university courses and women’s studies programs even though she was the first American woman to receive the Nobel Prize for literature. She has the unusual ability to bridge cultures, both East and West. The daughter of Christian missionaries, Buck grew up in China before making her home in the United States. She’s a favorite of mine and I collect her work. Occasionally I can be spotted digging through stacks in used bookstores in search of the remaining few I lack.

Buck is best known for The Good Earth - perhaps because it was made into a movie. If you haven’t read her before, skip it. Many of her novels such as Imperial Woman chronicle the history of China. I recommend Pavilion of Women which tells the story of a faithful wife who decides to retire from her marriage at the age of 40, give her husband a concubine and devote herself to study books forbidden to women.

Buck’s dual(ing) biographies of her parents - Fighting Angel about her father’s evangelical work to convert the Chinese to Christianity and The Exile about her mother’s struggle to maintain a home for her children, render medical care for those around her, and find spirituality in quotidian life - are must reads for anyone who has tried to understand parents.

In God’s Men, Buck writes of two men who want to change the world, one who wants to feed it food, and one who wants to feed it news. This book explores the competing desires of body, mind and soul as well as the judicious or manipulative use of power."

From: Warren Parkin. "Explore Women Authors for Women's History Month." Chiefland Citizen News, Mar 25, 2009. (accessed Apr 8, 2009).

U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-WV

"The women of West Virginia have played important roles not only in the history of our beloved state, but also in the history of our great nation. Therefore, with March being celebrated as “Women’s History Month,” I want to acknowledge some great West Virginia women and their contributions. . ." For more go to: "BYRD'S EYE VIEW: WV Women Make History", Huntington News,

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