Pearl Buck's novel The Good Earth was the best-selling fiction book in the U.S. in 1931 and 1932, and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces."
From her 1958 Q & A with Mike Wallace on ABC's The Mike Wallace Interview:
WALLACE: If you're curious to know what Pearl Buck thinks of American women and their husbands, why she says "Most women make their homes their graves" and why she attacks our devotion to "sex appeal" and "romance", we'll go after those stories in just a moment. My name is Mike Wallace, the cigarette is Parliament, another fine product of the Philip Morris Company.The Good Earth by Pearl Buck is one of the Tiger Mother's 5 best books on being a Mother.
WALLACE: And now to our story.....Ever since she began writing as a young woman in China where she was raised by her missionary parents, Pearl Buck has been intrigued by the "battle between the sexes". This contest has become a major social problem in the United States as women find themselves torn between career and marriage, between independence and security, between emancipation and conventional morality. As a wife and mother and author of "Good Earth" and about forty other works, Pearl Buck has apparently had the best of both possible worlds. Miss Buck, in view of your remarkable career, first of all, let me ask you this. Earlier this week you told our reporter this. You said: "Most women are making their homes their graves". What did you mean by that?
BUCK: Well I suppose I meant that they bury themselves there when they don't need to. Of course I believe in home you know.
WALLACE: Well of course you believe in home, but when you say they bury themselves there, would you be more specific with so that we could understand it a little.....
BUCK: Well I think I -- what I meant by that was that they can fulfill all the obligations and the joys of home and at the same time be citizens of their nation and of the world.
WALLACE: And you feel that women insufficiently do that, is that the point?
BUCK: Well, to an extent I think so.
WALLACE: You said, if I may, you said that you had said, you have women who can think only how to flatter their men and who cater to their stomachs and their every whim, that's an insult for any woman.
BUCK: Well, I think that's an insult for a man...[read on]