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赛珍珠(Pearl S. Buck或Pearl Buck)

(2012-05-28 14:07:20)
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One of the most popular American authors of her day, humanitarian, crusader for women's rights, editor of Asia magazine, philanthropist, noted for her novels of life in China. Pearl S. Buck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. The decision of the Swedish Academy stirred controversy, especially among critics who believed that Buck lacked the stature the Nobel Prize was intended to confirm. Nowadays Buck's books are generally considered dated although attempts have been made to rehabilitate her work.

"One does not live half a life in Asia without return. When it would be I did not know, nor even where it would be, or to what cause. In our changing world nothing changes more than geography. The friendly country of China, the home of my childhood and youth, is for the time being forbidden country. I refuse to call it enemy country. The people in my memory are too kind and the land too beautiful." (from A Bridge for Passing, 1963)

Pearl S. Buck was born in Hillsboro, West Virginia. She spent her youth in China, in Chinkiang on the Yangtse River. She learned to speak Chinese before she could speak English. Her parents were missionaries. Buck's father, Absalom Sydenstricker, was a humorless, scholarly man who spent years translating the Bible from Greek to Chinese. Her mother, the former Caroline Stulting, had travelled widely in her youth and had a fondness for literature. Buck's life in China was not always pleasant. When she was only a child, the family was forced to flee from the rebel forces of the Boxer Rebellion.

After being educated by her mother and by a Chinese tutor, who was a Confucian scholar, Buck was sent to a boarding school in Shanghai (1907-09) at the age of fifteen. She also worked for the Door of Hope, a shelter for Chinese slave girls and prostitutes. Buck continued her education in the United States at Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Virginia, where she studied psychology. After graduating in 1914, she returned to China as a teacher for the Presbyterian Board of Missions. Her mother was seriously ill and Buck spent two years taking care of her.

Buck married Dr. John Lossing Buck, an agricultural expert, devoted to his work. When her mother recovered, they settled in a village in the North China. Buck worked as a teacher and interpreter for her husband and travelled through the countryside. During this period China took steps toward liberal reform, especially through the May 4th Movement of 1917 to 1921. In the 1920s the Bucks moved to Nanking, where she taught English and American literature at the university. In 1924 she returned to the United States to seek medical care for her first daughter, who was mentally retarded. In 1926 she received her M.A. in literature from Cornell University.

The Bucks went back to China in 1927. During the civil war, they were evacuated to Japan - Buck never returned to China. In 1935 Buck divorced her first husband and married her publisher and the president of John Day Company, Richard Walsh, with whom she moved to Pennsylvania.

As a writer Buck started with the novel EAST WIND: WEST WIND (1930), which received critical recognition. She had earlier published autobiographical writings in magazines and a story entitled 'A Chinese Woman Speaks' in the Asia Magazine. Her breakthrough novel, THE GOOD EARTH, appeared in 1931. Its style, a combination of biblical prose and the Chinese narrative saga, increased the dignity of its characters. The book gained a wide audience, and was made into a motion picture.

In 1936 Buck was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. She became in 1938 the third American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, following Sinclair Lewis and Eugene O'Neill. In 1951 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. During World War II she lectured and wrote on democracy and American attitudes toward Asia. Through her personal experiences, Buck had much first-hand knowledge of the relationships between men and women from different cultures. In her books one of the major themes was interracial love. In THE ANGRY WIFE (1949) she wrote about the love of Bettina, a former slave, and Tom, a southerner who fought for the army of the North. In THE HIDDEN FLOWER (1952) a Japanese family is overset when the daughter falls in love with an American soldier.

Buck and Walsh were active in humanitarian causes through the East and West Association, which was devoted to mutual understanding between the peoples of Asia and the United States, Welcome House, and The Pearl Buck Foundation. A friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Mead, and Paul Robeson, she also advocated the rights of women and racial equality before the civil rights movement. As a consequence of these activities, the F.B.I. kept detailed files on her for years.

After the communist revolution in China, Buck became disillusioned about the chances for international cooperation. THE PATRIOT (1939) focused on the emotional development of an university student, whose idealism is crushed by the brutalities of war. Buck gradually shifted her activities to a lifelong concern for children. She coined the word ''Amerasian'' and raised millions of dollars for the adoption and fostering of Amerasian children, often abandoned by their American fathers stationed in the Far East. Buck's own family included nine adopted children as well as her biological daughters. THE CHILD WHO NEVER GREW (1950) told a personal story of her own daughter, whose mental development stopped at the age of four. The subject is also dealt with in Buck's famous novel The Good Earth. The book was filmed in 1937. Irving Thalberg had wanted to produce the novel since the 1931 publication. Thalberg employed many Chinese as extras and authentic background shots were made in China. Luise Rainer won an Academy Award for best actress. Buck did not first complain her small royalty, until years later, when MGM ignored her plea for a substantial donation to help Amerasian children.

The Good Earth (1931) sold 1,800,000 copies in its first year. It has been translated into more than thirty languages and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1932. The story follows the life of Wang Lung, from his beginnings as an impoverished peasant to his eventual position as a prosperous landowner. Wang Lung collects a slave, O-lan, from the prosperous house of Hwang. O-lan's parents sold her to Hwang because they were poor and needed money. According to an old Chinese custom, Wang Lung's and O-lan's marriage is pre-arranged. The fiancée is not beautiful, she is humble but shares with him the devotion to land, to duty, and to survival. First year is happy: the crop is good and they have two sons. Then the crops fail, and O-lan gives birth to a girl. The family moves to south, and the man abandons the plan to sell the child. Revolution breaks out, houses are plundered, and Wang Lung gets in his possession a silver treasure. The family returns to their home region. Wang Lung buys land and soon owns also the house of now impoverished Hwang. The only problem is their retarded child, a girl, who don't speak. O-lan gives birth to twins, a boy and a girl. The elder boys go to school. Wang Lung buys another wife, Lotus. O-lan is not well after the birth of the twins, and she dies after the wedding of her sons. In his old days, Wang Lung gives his love to a young slave girl, who also takes care of the retarded girl. His youngest son moves from the house to become a soldier and because he also loves the young slave girl. Old Wang Lung witnesses for his sorrow that his children do not share his unyielding devotion to the land. - The novel was followed by two sequels, SONS (1932), which focused on the youngest son, Wang the Tiger, and A HOUSE DIVIDED (1935), which was Yuan's story. The three novels were published in 1935 in one volume as THE HOUSE OF EARTH. At her death Buck was working on 'The Red Earth', a further sequel to The Good Earth, presenting the modern-day descendants of that novel's characters.

After Walsh's death, Buck formed a relationship with Ted Harris, a dance instructor 40 years her junior, who took charge of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation. Buck died at the age of eighty in Danby, Vermont, on March 6, 1973. Her manuscripts and papers are at the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation, Hillsboro, West Virginia and the Lipscomb Library of Randolph-Macon Women's College, Lynchburg, Virginia.

"I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in human beings, Buck said in 1939. "Like Confucius of old, I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and the angels... If there is no other life, then this one has been enough to make it worth being born, myself a human being." During her career as an author, spanning forty years, Buck published eighty works, including novels, plays, short story collections, poems, children's books, and biographies. She also wrote five novels under the name John Sedges and translated Lo Guangzhong's (1330-1400) The Water Margin / Men of the Marshes, which appeared in 1933 under the title All Men Are Brothers. The book depicts adventures of outlaws and was banned by Sung rulers. COMMAND THE MORNING (1959) concerned the efforts of the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb and the ethics of dropping it on Japan. THE CHINESE NOVEL (1939) was largely an explanation of her own writing style.

For further reading: Pearl S. Buck by Kang Liao (1997); Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography by Peter Conn (1996); World Authors 1900-1950, ed. by M. Seymour-Smith and A.C. Kimmens (1996); The Several Worlds of Pearl S. Buck, ed. by Elizabeth J. Lipscomb (1994); Pearl S. Buck: Good Earth Mother by W. Sherk (1992); Pearl Buck. A Woman in Conflict by N.B. Stirling (1989); Pearl S. Buck: The Final Chapter by Beverly E. Rizzon (1988); The Lives of Pearl Buck by I. Block (1973); Pearl S. Buck by P. Doyle (1980; Pearl S. Buck: A Biography by T. Harris (1971); Pearl S. Buck by T.F. Harris (1969); Pearl S. Buck by P.A. Doyle (1965); The Image of the Chinese Family in Pearl Buck's Novels by C. Doan (1964) - Other film adaptations: China Sky, 1945, dir. by Ray Enright, starring Randolph Scott, Ellen Drew

Selected works:

  • EAST WIND, WEST WIND, 1930
  • THE GOOD EARTH, 1931 - Pulitzer Prize - Hyvä maa - film: 1937, dir. by Sidney Frankin, starring Paul Muni, Luise Rainer, Walter Connolly. "Performances, direction and photography are of a uniform excellence, and have been fused perfectly into a dignified, beautiful, but soberly dramatic production." The New York Times
  • SONS, 1932 - Pojat
  • THE YOUNG REVOLUTIONIST, 1932
  • EAST AND WEST AND THE NOVEL, 1932
  • IS THERE A CASE FOR FOREIGN MISSIONS?, 1932
  • transl. ALL MEN ARE BROTHERS by Shui Hu Chan, 1933
  • THE FIRST WIFE AND OTHER STORIES, 1933
  • MOTHER, 1934 - Äiti
  • A HOUSE DIVIDED, 1935 - Hajalle mennyt suku
  • THE EXILE, 1936 - Maanpaossa
  • FIGHTING ANGEL: PORTRAIT OF A SOUL, 1936 - Herran soturi
  • THIS PROUD HEART, 1938
  • THE PATRIOT, 1939
  • FLIGHT INTO CHINA, 1939 (play)
  • THE CHINESE NOVEL, 1939 (lecture)
  • OTHER GODS, 1940
  • STORIES FOR LITTLE CHILDREN, 1940
  • OF MEN AND WOMEN, 1941
  • TODAY AND FOREVER, 1941
  • WHEN FUN BEGINS, 1941
  • DRAGON SEED, 1942 - film: 1944, dir. by Jack Conway, Harold S. Bucquet, starring Katharine Hepburn, Walter Huston. "Often awkward and pretentious, it nevertheless has moments of moral and dramatic grandeur." Time
  • AMERICAN UNITY AND ASIA, 1942
  • FREEDOM FOR ALL, 1942 (?)
  • THE CHINESE CHILDREN NEXT DOOR, 1942
  • THE PROMISE, 1943
  • TWENTY-SEVEN STORIES, 1943
  • THE WATER BUFFALO CHILDREN, 1943
  • THE DRAGON FISH, 1944 (as John Sedges)
  • THE STORY OF DRAGON SEED, 1944
  • WHAT AMERICA MEANS TO ME, 1944
  • SUN YAT SEN, 1944? (play)
  • CHINA TO AMERICA, 1944 (radio play)
  • PORTRAIT OF A MARRIAGE, 1945
  • WILL THIS EARTH HOLD?, 1945 (radio play)
  • THE FIRST WIFE, 1945 (play)
  • TALK ABOUT RUSSIA, 1945
  • TELL THE PEOPLE: TALKS WITH JAMES YEN ABOUT THE MASS EDUCATION MOVEMENT, 1945
  • TELL THE PEOPLE: MASS EDUCATION IN CHINA, 1945
  • ed.: CHINA IN BLACK AND WHITE, 1945
  • YU LAN, 1945
  • PAVILLION OF WOMEN, 1946 - Naisten piha - film: 2001, dir. by Yim Ho, starring Luo Yan, Willem Dafoe
  • FAR AND NEAR, 1947
  • HOW IT HAPPENS, 1947
  • PEONY, 1948
  • THE BIG WAVE, 1948
  • THE ANGRY WIFE, 1949
  • AMERICAN ARGUMENT, 1949
  • THE LONG LOVE, 1949 (as John Sedges)
  • THE CHILD WHO NEVER GREW, 1950
  • ONE BRIGHT DAY, 1950
  • GOD'S MEN, 1951
  • THE HIDDEN FLOWER, 1952
  • BRIGHT PROCESSION, 1952 (as John Sedges)
  • ONE BRIGHT DAY, 1952
  • COME MY BELOVED, 1953
  • VOICES IN THE HOUSE, 1953 (as John Sedges)
  • THE MAN WHO CHANGED CHINA, 1953
  • MY SEVERAL WORLDS, 1954
  • JOHNNY JACK AND HIS BEGINNINGS, 1954
  • THE BEECH TREE, 1954
  • IMPERIAL WOMAN, 1956 - Kiinan keisarinna
  • FRIEND TO FRIEND, 1958
  • AMERICAN TRIPTYCH: THREE 'JOHN SEDGES' NOVELS, 1958
  • DESERT INCIDENT, 1959 (play)
  • COMMAND IN THE MORNING, 1959 - Oletko käskenyt päivän koittaa
  • THE DELIGHTS OF LEARNING, 1960
  • CHRISTINE, 1960 (play, with Charles K. Peck, Jr. music by Sammy Fain, lyrics by Paul Francis Webster, adaptation of the novel My Indian Family by Hilda Wernher)
  • THE CHRISTMAS GHOST, 1960
  • SATAN NEVER SLEEPS, 1961- film: 1962, The Devil Never Sleeps / Satan Never Sleeps, dir. by Leo McCarey, starring Clifton Webb, William Holden, France Nuyen. "This "Satan" is a direct descendant of "Madama Butterfly" and soap opera." The New York Times
  • FOURTEEN STORIES, 1961
  • A BRIDGE FOR PASSING, 1962
  • HEARTS COME HOME, 1962
  • screenplay: THE BIG WAVE, 1962 (with Ted Danielewski)
  • THE LIVING REED, 1963
  • THE JOY OF CHILDREN, 1964
  • WELCOME CHILD, 1964
  • STORIES OF CHINA, 1964
  • ESCAPE AT MIDNIGHT AND OTHER STORIES, 1964
  • THE BIG FIGHT, 1965
  • CHILDREN FOR ADOPTION, 1965
  • THE GUIDE, 1965 (play, adaptation of the novel by R.K. Narayan)
  • THE GIFTS THEY BRING, 1965
  • ed.: FAIRY TALES OF THE ORIENT, 1965
  • screenplay: THE GUIDE, 1965
  • THE LITTLE FOX IN THE MIDDLE, 1966
  • DEATH IN THE CASTLE, 1966
  • THE PEOPLE OF JAPAN, 1966
  • MY MOTHER'S HOUSE, 1966 (with others)
  • FOR SPACIOUS SKIES, 1966 (with Theodore F. Harris)
  • THE TIME IS NOON, 1967
  • MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE,AND JOHN, 1967
  • TO MY DAUGHTERS, WITH LOVE, 1967
  • THE NEW YEAR, 1968
  • THE PEOPLE OF CHINA, 1968
  • THE GOOD DEED, 1969
  • THREE DAUGHTERS OF MADAME LIANG, 1969 - Rouva Liangin tyttäret
  • MANDALA, 1970
  • THE KENNEDY WOMEN, 1970
  • CHINA AS I SEE IT, 1970
  • THE STORY BIBLE, 1971
  • THE CHINESE STORY TELLER, 1971
  • PEARL BUCK'S AMERICA, 1971
  • ORIENTAL COOKBOOK, 1972
  • ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS, 1972
  • A COMMUNITY SUCCESS STORY, 1972
  • CHINA PAST AND PRESENT, 1972
  • THE GODDESS ADIBES, 1972
  • MRS STARLING'S PROBLEM, 1973
  • A GIFT FOR THE CHILDREN, 1973
  • THE RAINBOW, 1974
  • ed.: PEARL S. BUCK'S BOOK OF CHRISTMAS, 1974
  • WORDS OF LOVE, 1974
  • EAST AND WEST, 1975
  • SECRETS OF THE HEART, 1976
  • THE LOVERS AND OTHER STORIES, 1977
  • MRS STONER AND THE SEA, 1978
  • THE WOMAN WHO WAS CHANGED, 1979

 

赛珍珠(Pearl S. Buck或Pearl Buck,1892年6月26日—1973年3月6日),美国作家。1932年借其小说《大地》(The Good Earth),成为第一位获得普利策小说奖的女性;1938年获诺贝尔文学奖。她也是唯一同时获得普利策奖和诺贝尔奖的女作家,作品流传语种最多的美国作家。

作品

《桥》(A Bridge for Passing)

《来吧,亲爱的》(Come, My Beloved)

《命令与清晨》(Command the Morning)

《东风:西风》(East Wind: West Wind)

《流亡》(The Exile)

《搏斗的天使》(Fighting Angel)

《十四个故事》(Fourteen Stories)

《群芳庭》(Pavilion of Women)

《大地》(The Good Earth)上海译文出版社 2002 ISBN 7532729273

《归心》和其它故事(Hearts Come Home and Other Stories)

《匿花》(The Hidden Flower)

《帝国女性》(Imperial Woman)

《北京来信》(Letter from Peking)

《生芦苇》(The Living Reed)

获奖

1932年,普利策小说奖

1935年,威廉·迪·豪威尔勋章

1938年,诺贝尔文学奖

 赛珍珠(1892-1973)女。出生于美国弗吉尼亚州,3个月时即被身为传教士的双亲带到中国。在双语环境中长大,是以中文为母语之一的著名美国作家。曾回美四年接受高等教育。自1919年至1935年,她与丈夫卜凯 (J. L. Buck) 长期居住在所执教的金陵大学分配给他们的两层楼房里。在这里她写出了于1938年荣获诺贝尔文学奖的长篇小说《大地 (Gread Earth) 三部曲》等小说,并最早将《水浒传》翻译成英文在西方出版。一生著译作品70余部。她病逝后,按其遗愿,墓碑上只镌刻“赛珍珠”三个汉字。

反对传教的教师

1919年下半年,赛珍珠随丈夫卜凯来到南京,受聘于美国教会所办的金陵大学,并住进了校内一幢单门独院的小楼。在赛珍珠和卜凯三、四十年代先后离开中国之前,一直居住在这里(即今平仓巷5号)。卜凯(J.L.Buck)是一位农学家,教授农业技术和农场管理的课程,创办了金大农业经济系并任系主任,因出版《中国农家经济》等书而被视为美国的中国问题专家。赛珍珠则在金陵大学外语系任教,并先后在东南大学、中央大学等校兼职教授教育学、英文等课。她既要备课、批改作用,又要参与社会工作,会见中外各界人士,还要修剪家中花园的大片花草,忙得不亦乐乎。在举行孙中山奉安大典期间,赛珍珠即在家中腾出地方,让中国驻美大使施肇基博士和为孙中山遗体作防腐处理的泰勒博士住了进来。徐志摩、梅兰芳、胡适、林语堂、老舍等人都曾是她家的座上客。

赛珍珠最喜欢教的课是英文,因为这门课有着极大的发挥空间,可以充分“表现”她的渊博学识和过人的口才。当然也曾有学生认为她上英文课是“海阔天空,离题万里”而告到了校长室去。她自认为“上得较为逊色”的是宗教课。在给纽约传教董事会的工作汇报中,赛珍珠直言不讳地说:“对在课堂上传授宗教知识的整套方法,我深表不满。”她认为“和正规的宗教课相比,在教育学课上传授宗教知识则更胜一筹”。这引起了董事会的不满,董事会很不客气地告诫赛珍珠:“只有正规地传授神学才算正道。”赛珍珠没有屈服于压力,在力争无效的情况下,愤而辞去了宗教课的教职。对此,陈裕光校长和许多外籍教师都深感惋惜。但是在中国、美国许多地方,赛珍珠都仍然公开声称她极为讨厌那些“喋喋不休的布道”,说布道只会“扼杀思想,蛊惑人心,在中国教会里制造出一批伪君子”。她认为,“空谈无益,基督徒应该给中国人提供实实在在的服务,譬如教育、医疗和卫生”。

把《水浒传》推向世界的第一人

中国古典文学名著《水浒传》迄今已有多种外文译本,有的直译成《发生在水边的故事》,有的意译为《一百零五个男人和三个女人》。在所有译作中,翻译得最为准确、最为精彩也是最有影响的,还当数它的第一个英译本——《四海之内皆兄弟》。这个英译本便出自赛珍珠的笔下。

赛珍珠精通汉语,对中国小说有着极高的评价。她在诺贝尔奖授奖仪式上的致谢词便是以《中国小说》为题的,她说:中国的古典小说与“世界任何国家的小说一样,有着不可抗拒的魅力”,“一个真正受过良好教育的人,应该知道《红楼梦》、《三国演义》这样的经典之作”。她的这番话赢来了文学大师们的热烈掌声,因为她在数年之前翻译的《水浒传》在西方的流行,已经让人们对中国小说刮目相看了。

赛珍珠翻译《水浒传》还是20年代中后期的事情,当时南京出售着《水浒传》的好几个版本,有的只有七十回,有的长达一百二十回。赛珍珠选择的是七十回本的《水浒传》,她认为这个版本最好,因为较长的版本结尾大多是好汉们被朝廷招安,而七十回本则自始至终贯穿着与官府反抗到底的思想。

赛珍珠之所以选定《水浒传》来翻译,既有艺术上的考虑,也有“政治上”的因素。《水浒传》的口语化文字对中国小说史具有深远的影响,赛珍珠对这种文字风格很是赞赏。而小说的政治内容对她的吸引力则更大。她十分清楚,“中国历史上的起义人士不管属于哪一种人,也不论他们持有什么信仰,无一不喜欢《水浒传》,毛泽东就是其中之一”。她也听说过这样一个笑话:在首都南京有好事者散布谣言说,农民运动正在传播一首革命歌谣,诉说农民生活的艰辛:“烈日炎炎似火烧,野田禾苗半枯焦。农夫心内如汤煮,公子王孙把扇摇。”后来一查才发现原来它不是“马克思主义歌谣”,而是《水浒传》上的一首诗。所以,赛珍珠认为小说的主要矛盾是“老百姓和腐败的官府之间的斗争”。在赛珍珠眼里,梁山一百单八将类似于英国中世纪追随罗宾汉的绿林英豪,他们并非存心造反,只是受环境逼迫,万般无奈之下才揭竿而起的;他们是足智多谋、骁勇善战的公民,所反抗的是邪恶的势力和无道的社会。

在这段时间,赛珍珠除了教学之外,就是埋头翻译《水浒传》。前后耗时五年,终于将《水浒传》翻译成了一千多页的英文。而书的原名“水浒”通常被译成“Water Margin”,指的是书中许多事件的发生地。赛珍珠认为书名这样去译,西方读者肯定不知所云,她先后试用过《侠盗》、《义侠》等名,但自己都不甚满意。直到出版前不久,她才突来灵感,想到了《论语》中的一句名言:“四海之内,皆兄弟也。”于是在纽约庄台公司1933年出版这本上、下两卷的译著时即以All Men Are Brothers为名。这是《水浒传》的第一个英文全译本,在美国很是畅销,从中国杀将过去的这批“梁山好汉”,一下子就“窜”上了美国权威的“每月图书俱乐部”的排行榜。

诞生于中国《大地》的诺贝尔文学奖

1938年度诺贝尔文学奖的获得者是一位女士——获奖作品是中国题材的《大地三部曲》、《异邦客》和《东风·西风》。这位“对中国农民生活进行了史诗般的描述”,“为中国题材小说作出了开拓性贡献”的获奖者就是赛珍珠,曾经在金陵大学执教的美国人Pearl Buck。而她的所有获奖作品也大都是她在金陵大学一边教书、一边创作写成的。

赛珍珠开始写作生涯时,适逢一场不同寻常的世界性文化风潮。她读过陈独秀、胡适等人在《新青年》上发表的文章。对于中国的新文化运动,她认为这是“现代中国的一股新生力量”,将会释放出“被压抑了许多世纪的能量”。她谙熟汉语,对中国古典文学所知甚多,又和新文化运动中的人物接触频繁,这都有利于她对周围掀起的风暴作出判断。于是她便在平仓巷5号小阁楼的窗台下,摆放一架打字机,面对紫金山,沉入了对作品的构思之中。

1923年赛珍珠写出了处女作《也在中国》,此后便屡屡有作品发表。1927年春北伐军攻克南京时,社会失去了控制,对于许多外国人来说真是危机四伏,所以她沦落为“洋难民”,离开了南京。当1928年夏回到南京的家园时,尽管整座院落成了马厩和“公厕”,但她却在一个小壁橱里惊喜地翻出一个木箱。士兵和劫匪掠走了她的大半家产,却把这个木箱留了下来,箱中完好无损地放着她在母亲去世后为其写的《凯丽的传记》一书的手稿——这部手稿排成铅字时书名便改成了《异邦客》。赛珍珠继续创作,不久给美国的朋友戴维·劳埃德寄去了一篇曾经在杂志上发表的小说《一位中国女子说》,同时还附上了未曾发表的续篇,建议将两者合成一部长篇,书名定为《天国之风》。

戴维·劳埃德接到《天国之风》的书稿后,分别寄给了20多个出版社,纽约的庄台公司总裁理查德·沃尔什慧眼识珠,很快便决定出版赛珍珠的《天国之风》,只是将书名定为《东风·西风》。

不久赛珍珠的新作《王龙》又从南京金陵大学寄到了纽约庄台公司,沃尔什又热情地答应出版,只是觉得《王龙》之名很难为人接受,而书名应“扣人心弦,富有浪漫情调”,建议改用“大地”之类的名字。1931年春,装帧精美的《大地》(Gread Earth)出版,好评如潮,销量飙升,《大地》一下子成了1931年和1932年全美最畅销的书。并且,很快就有了德文、法文、荷兰文、瑞典文、丹麦文、挪威文等译本。庄台公司也因此从一个负责累累的出版社一跃而成为纽约著名的出版公司。沃尔什与赛珍珠双方还愉快地订下并切实履行了这样的协议:赛珍珠写什么,他就出什么。所以赛珍珠后来写成的《大地三部曲》之《儿子们》、《分家》以及其他多种文学作品,都是由沃尔什的公司出版的。

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