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Quotes of the day: Pearl S. Buck

Published Thursday, June 26, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 26 2014

Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (June 26, 1892 – March 6, 1973), also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu, was an American writer and novelist. As the daughter of missionaries, Buck spent most of her life before 1934 in China. Her novel The Good Earth was the best-selling fiction book in the U.S. in 1931 and 1932 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces." After her return to the United States in 1935, she continued her prolific writing career, and became a prominent advocate of the rights of women and minority groups, and wrote widely on Asian cultures, becoming particularly well known for her efforts on behalf of Asian and mixed race adoption. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


An intelligent, energetic, educated woman cannot be kept in four walls- even satin-lined, diamond-studded walls- without discovering sooner or later that they are still a prison cell.

Every event has had its cause, and nothing, not the least wind that blows, is accident or causeless.

Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied.

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.

Growth itself contains the germ of happiness.

I don't wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to earth.

I love people. I love my family, my children... but inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up.

It is better to be first with an ugly woman than the hundredth with a beauty.

Let woman out of the home, let man into it, should be the aim of education. The home needs man, and the world outside needs woman.

Men and women should own the world as a mutual possession.

Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.

Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.

Perhaps one has to be very old before one learns how to be amused rather than shocked.

Praise out of season, or tactlessly bestowed, can freeze the heart as much as blame.

The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration.

The truth is always exciting. Speak it, then. Life is dull without it.

The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation.

To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death.

You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings.

Categories: Pearl S. Buck, Quotes of the day


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