BETHANY, W.Va. – Noted actress and researcher Karen Vuranch will be bringing her portrayal of the late Pearl S. Buck, renowned West Virginia author and social activist, to Bethany College’s Wailes Theater at the Steinman Fine Arts Center on Tuesday, April 15 at 8:30 p.m.
Born in Hillsboro, W.Va. on June 26, 1892, Pearl Sydenstricker Buck was raised in Zhenjiang, China as the daughter of a Presbyterian missionary. Her Chinese upbringing gave her a unique insight into the conflicts between Eastern and Western cultures. That insight made Buck one of the most influential writers of the 20th Century as many of her works explored the problems that arise when cultures collide.
Buck’s second novel, The Good Earth, received the 1932 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In 1938, she became the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature. A prolific writer, she eventually authored more than 70 books, 10 children’s books and 73 short stories. After returning to the United States in 1934, Buck emerged as a leading advocate for civil rights and women’s rights. She continued to champion those causes until her death on March 6, 1973.
Buck was no stranger to the Bethany College campus. She came to Bethany on June 9, 1963 to deliver the College’s 122nd Commencement Address to the Class of 1963. Buck was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Bethany President Dr. Perry E. Gresham during the ceremonies.
This West Virginia Humanities Council program is being hosted by Bethany College and is supported with additional financial assistance from the Office of the Secretary, West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts.