First, thanks to everyone who made the 2010 Pearl S. Buck Birthday Celebration a success!
As part of the Little Levels Heritage Fair, we created the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace's first-ever float for the Saturday parade. To our surprise, the float won second place in the float division, as well as the prize for Director's Choice!
Later in the afternoon came the birthday celebration, which featured instructors from the annual Pearl S. Buck Writer's Workshop. We were treated to a reading by Dr. Laura Bentley, writer-in-residence at Marshall University, who read selections from her 2006 collection of poetry, Lake Effect. Dr. Peter Conn, from the University of Pennsylvania, gave a lecture on Pearl Buck's relevancy today. Dr. Conn was an impressive public speaker, and the lecture was quite enjoyable. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend his biography, Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography. Since its publication in 1996, the book has become the most influential portrait of Pearl S. Buck, and provides a detailed and candid look at her life.
In other news, the manuscript grant that was submitted to the Hollowell Foundation in March was accepted! The grant money will go towards appraising our manuscripts, which were originally sold to the Birthplace by Pearl Buck for $1. They are currently housed at West Virginia Wesleyan University. We are excited about the grant, and hope that in the future, the manuscripts will become an integral part of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace.
Lastly, another review of Hilary Spurling's Pearl in China: The Journey to the Good Earth will appear in this Sunday's (7/4) New York Times Book Review. The review has already been posted on their website and can be found here.