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The China MystiquePearl S. Buck, Anna May Wong, Mayling Soong, and the Transformation of American Orientalism$
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Karen Leong

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520244221

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520244221.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021

Pearl Sydenstricker Buck

Pearl Sydenstricker Buck

(p.12) Chapter 2 Pearl Sydenstricker Buck
The China Mystique

Karen J. Leong

University of California Press

Pearl Sydenstricker Buck grew up in China. Nonetheless, she was an American, owing to her parents' decision to return to the United States in order that their second child be born on American soil. This decision guaranteed Buck U.S. citizenship and allowed her to live in a country that was not her own, and to teach the Chinese about a religion that was not their own. During her formative years, Buck knew China as reality and the United States as reflected in the memories and conversations of others. As a child, her family worked and socialized with other American missionaries. This community was united by their Christian faith and by the belief that Christianizing the Chinese was their divine appointment. As a young child within the Chinese community of American missionaries, Buck also absorbed the American missionary discourse of orientalism.

Keywords:   China, United States, missionary, Christian, Pearl Sydenstricker Buck

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