If you haven’t read Pearl S Buck’s epic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Good Earth, I urge you to do so. This book is one of my all-time favourites.

Written 86 years ago, ‘this moving, classic story of the honest farmer Wang Lung and his selfless wife O-lan is must reading for those who would fully appreciate the sweeping changes that have occurred in the lives of the Chinese people during the 20th and into the 21st century. Pearl S Buck traces the whole cycle of life: its terrors, its passions, its ambitions and rewards.”

Here is a quote from the book:

“At this Wang Lung was goaded to anger. He flung down his hoe and he shouted at his uncle,

“If I have a handful of silver it is because I work and my wife works, and we do not, as some do, sit idling over a gambling table or gossiping on doorsteps never swept, letting the fields grow to weeds and our children go half-fed!”

The blood flew into his uncle’s yellow face and he rushed at his nephew and slapped him vigorously on both cheeks.

“Now that,” he cried, “for speaking so to your father’s generation! Have you no religion, no morals, that you are so lacking in filial conduct? Have you not heard it said that in the Sacred Edicts it is commanded that a man is never to correct an elder?”