Pearl S. Buck and the Forgotten Holocaust of the Two-Ocean War



Abstract

Valeria Gennero

Università di Bergamo, Italy

During the Second World War, Pearl S. Buck was both a successful novelist and an influential political organizer, involved in  well-known  campaigns  against  racism  and  imperialism. In  January  1942  she  published Dragon  Seed,  a  novel  which described the Japanese sack of Nanking in 1937 and engaged the issues of nationalism and male violence from a gendered perspective. Buck wrote the novel before the United States entered the war: she hoped to promote American awareness of  the  Chinese  fight  for  freedom,  knowing  that  the  tragic events which took place in Nanking after the fall of the city were virtually unknown in the United States. I will argue that, despite its original propagandistic intent, Dragon Seed succeeds—as Buck’s novels often do—in problematizing the notion of national identity, foregrounding the sexual politics of war.

 


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Buck, P. S. 1941. Of Men and Women. New York: John Day.

Buck, P. S. 1943. Dragon Seed. [1942] London: Reprint Society.

Buck, P. S. 1954. My Several Worlds: A Personal Record. New York: John Day.

Brook, T. 1999. Documents on the Rape of Nanking. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Cavarero, A. 2011. Horrorism: Naming Contemporary Violence. [2007] New York: Columbia University Press.

Chang, I. 1997. The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. New York: Basic Books.

Conn, P. 1996. Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hu, H. 2000. American Goddess at the Rape of Nanking: the Courage of Minnie Vautrin. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.

Leong, K. J. 2005. The China Mystique: Pearl S. Buck, Anna May Wong, Mayling Soong, and the Transformation of American Orientalism. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Mitgang, H. 1996. Dangerous Dossiers. New York: Fine.

Tarrant, S. 2006. When Sex Became Gender. New York: Routledge.


Published : 2014-05-15


GenneroV. (2014). Pearl S. Buck and the Forgotten Holocaust of the Two-Ocean War. Review of International American Studies, 7(1). Retrieved from https://journals.us.edu.pl/index.php/RIAS/article/view/4053

Valeria Gennero  valeria.gennero@unibg.it
Università di Bergamo, Italy  Italy
Valeria Gennero teaches American Literature at the University of Bergamo (Italy). She has published books on Djuna Barnes, Pearl S. Buck and Feminist Literary Theory.



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