Monday, October 12, 2015

Pearl Buck, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Sinclair Lewis

Above: Eleanor Roosevelt hands a donation check to author Pearl Buck for relief efforts in China, 1940. According to the group Pearl S. Buck International, the two women met in 1924, had a long friendship, and exchanged many letters. Photo courtesy of Temple University and

Above: The birthplace of Pearl Buck, in Hillsboro, West Virginia. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours of the house are offered by the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation & Museum. Photo by Brent McKee.

Above: Historical marker for the birthplace of Pearl Buck. Buck won a Pulitzer Prize, a Nobel Prize, and, like Eleanor Roosevelt, was a passionate advocate for human rights. Photo by Brent McKee.

Above: Pearl Buck was friends with author Sinclair Lewis, who wrote It Can't Happen Here, a book about fascism taking hold in America. The story was frequently performed as a play by WPA actors. Lewis and Buck shared a dislike for the totalitarian movements occurring across the globe during the 1930s, and their social activism led some critics to disparage their writing awards. But Lewis recommended to Buck: "Don't let anyone minimize for you the receiving of the Nobel Prize. It is a tremendous event, the greatest of a writer's life" (Kim Becnel, The Rise of Corporate Publishing and Its Effects on Authorship in Early Twentieth Century America, 2014, p. 90). WPA poster image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

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