When O-lan, a servant girl, marries the peasant Wang Lung, she toils tirelessly through four pregnancies for their family’s survival. Reward at first is meagre, but there is sustenance in the land – until the famine comes. Half-starved, the family joins thousands of peasants to beg on the city streets. It seems that all is lost, until O-lan’s desperate will to survive returns them home with undreamt of wealth. But they have betrayed the earth from which true wealth springs, and the family’s money breeds only mistrust, deception – and heartbreak for the woman who had saved them. THE GOOD EARTH is a riveting family saga and story of female sacrifice – a classic of twentieth-century literature.
‘The Good Earth’ broke ground in its portrayal of Asia and Asian women. For many readers it was a first glimpse into the life of the Chinese people. No wonder it won the Pulitzer Prize!