MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Four decades after her death, a new book from Pearl Buck, a Pocahontas County native, has now been published.
The manuscripts for “The Eternal Wonder,” one handwritten and one typed, were found in an abandoned storage unit in Texas and returned to the Buck family early this year. The book was published this month.
“The Eternal Wonder” tells the story of Randolph Colfax, a man whose search for meaning and purpose leads him to New York, England, Paris and Korea.
Buck wrote the book shortly before she died from cancer in 1973 at the age of 80. Her last residence was in Vermont.
Edgar Walsh, one of the seven children Buck adopted with her second husband, said he can only guess at where the manuscript was between Buck’s death and its discovery last year. He said Buck’s estate was in disarray following her death and her personal possessions were not properly secured.
“Someone, perhaps, saw some value in the manuscript and spirited it away and never told the family that it existed,” said Walsh who now manages Buck’s literary estate.
On Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Walsh said it is clear Buck knew she was dying when she wrote “The Eternal Wonder.”
“That had an impact on the speed with which she wrote it and some of the errors that appeared in the manuscript which we had to edit,” said Walsh. “What the novel really offers the reader is an opportunity to know Pearl Buck.”
Buck was born to missionary parents in Hillsboro in 1892 and, soon after, traveled to China with them. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for “The Good Earth” and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938.
Walsh said his mother was prolific during her 40 year long writing career. “She wrote 43 novels, 28 nonfiction books, 242 short stories, 37 children’s books, 18 film and TV scripts, 500 articles and essays and thousands of letters,” he said.