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March 15, 1936 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1936-03-15

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

SUNDAY, MARCH 15,1936

......... . ....

OF-

BOKS

BUCK:
'THIE EXILE, by Pearl S. Buck.
Reynal and Hitchcock, $2.50.
By C. BRADFORD CARPENTER
T HOSE who like a carefully, clearly
written story, an inherently
American story the most outstanding
features of which are a rich under-
standing of character and a wealth
of fascinating incidents, will 'find
Pearl Buck's latest publication a more
than ordinarily enjoyable book.
The Exile is a true story. It is the
biography of Mrs. Buck's mother who
was the wife of a missionary in China,
and a missionary herself. Born of
Dutch and French parents who had
settled in West Virginia in the begin-
ning of the nineteenth century, this
remarkable girl grew to womanhood
in an atmosphere of Presbyterian
strictness mixed with American op-
timism. Her father was predomi-
nantly a gentleman, caring more
about his daily fresh shirt than the
family fortune, and most of the re-
sponsibility fell on his little French
wife and their eldest son. Carrie, the
second child in the family, received
from her mother exceptional practical
abilities and an almost elfin sense
of humor and from her father a
sensitive feeling for beauty. Early in
her life she felt a struggle within her-
self between a deep religious duty
and a strong sensuousness. She was
attracted to asdebonair fellow-towns-
man who "came to church for the
singing, and, I am fain to believe,
for Carrie's sake." But she met and
married a young preacher after she
had been away at school and had
found that she wanted more than

'The Exile' Is A Carefully And
Clarlv WrittSttn nrv

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du
un
th
slo
ba
to
all
sh
on
me
an
An
Si

PEARL BUCK
ties to the church, which she had
.dertaken with amazing vigor in
e early years of her marriage, were
owly replaced by those of her hus-
nd and children and she lived
her death a woman devoted to
humanity and to the fate to which
e had been subjected.
Mrs. Buck's story :s a captivating.
e, mingling an Oriental environ-
ent full of danger and tragedy with
idealistic and more important
merican philosophy from which her
other never wavered at any time.
nce the story begins in Holland in
r great grandparent's house, not a
tle of the detail is the product of
e author's imagination. It is none
e less real, however, and serves sub-
antially to increase the logic and
e fullness of the truth in the biog-
phy. Mrs. Buck knew her mother
intimately and as sympathetically
she in turn knew thousands of
ffering Chinese women and chil-
en.
The Exile is never a dull book as
any sucn thorough books are likely
be. The steady, unfaltering style
which it is written and the rather
eidoscopic manner in which the

- - -1
scene changes from the Orient to
America and back again both in Car-
rie's mind and in her travels make the
story ever fresh and interesting. The
descriptions of the numerous dangers
and tragedies that Carrie confronts,
only occasionally achieving great
emotional heights, stabilize the thread
of narrative and lead it on to a grat-
ifyingly mature ending.
There is no trick psychology, no af-
fedtedness of style, no false artistry,
and no obvious artificiality within the
pages of The Exile. It is written with
a soundness and a sincere purpose. It
is a tribute to an extiraordinary
woman who led a full Christian life.
BOOK-ENDS~
The manuscript of the sixth Jalna
novel which covers the period 1934-
35 will be published sometime next
fall. This story is entitled "White-
oaks Harvest."
A British visitor in foreign parts
who hastened to London on hearing
of King George's illness was David
Lloyd George, who has been in Mo-
rocco working on the fifth volume of
his war memoirs. In the six weeks
before his return to England Lloyd
George had written 160,000 words
with his own hand. He does not type,
and dictating cramps his style. The
book will be ready for publication
sometime next fall.
* * *,
It is a far cry from that first per-
formance to the dignity of a Broad-
way theatre where the Yale Puppe-
teiers, as they are now called, enter-
tained large crowds last Christmas,
and to the New York studios where
puppet shows are presented several
evenings a week. And between these
extremes lie years of trouping. In
Punch's Progress Mr. Brown tells of
his adventures with puppets, of shows
before lumbermen in Michigan, Holly-
wood celebrities, and school children
in the south. While the book con-
tains nothing of the mechanics of
puppetry it is filled with anecdotes of
famous people and amusing adven-
Itures.

f1[

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naivete because they were the char- anything else to find some signifi- he
acteristics of a child-like poetry, but cance in God for herself. lit
when the same type is produced years She left America immediately after thi
later, the judgment of it is not colored her marriage and thereafter lived in thi
by the same curious and sympathetic various places in China to which she sta
interest. In three or four of her and her husband had been sent. She th
creations, however, Nathalia Crane bore him seven children, only three ral
has approached the simplicity and of whom outlived childhood, and most as
delightful whimsy of Emily Dickin- of whom were born under the most as
son. There is that same terseness of harrowing circumstances. She wit- su
expression, as well as the vividness nessed cholera epidemics, revolution- dr
of imagery that makes Nathalia ary uprisings, famines, and floods, '
Crane's poetry charming. acting as physician (with knowledge m
It is the pieces that reflect observa- she picked up as best she could), I to
tions on life and superfluous thought, chapel musician, confidante, and most in
however, that one would like to take important of all, as mother. Her kal
to task. The rhythm of these poemsr
is ragged, and the ideas are over- - --
laden with rich word pictures that
cause the reader to lose himself in j
obscurities. These poems detract from
her work as a whole, and fill one with
an intense longing to get back to the
poetry where Nathalia Crane has
caught that momentary flash of in-
sight into the fantasy and charm that,
is the imagination of every child.
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