Pearl Sydenstricker Buck was a estselling and Nobel Prize–winning author. Her classic novel ( 1931) was awarded Pulitzer Prize and William Dean Howells Medal. Born in Hillsboro, West Virginia, Buck was the wife of missionaries and spent much of the irst half of her life in China, where many of her books are set. In 1934, civil unrest in China forced Buck back to the United States. Throughout her life she worked in support of civil and women ’ s rights, and established Welcome House, the first international, interracial adoption agency. In addition to her highly acclaimed novels, Buck wrote two memoirs and biographies of som of her arents. For her body of work, Buck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938, the first American woman to have done so. She died in Vermont.