Pearl S. Buck and the Importance of a Father’s Love

Pearl Buck

Happy Birthday, Pearl Buck!Pearl Sydenstricker Buck was an American writer born of missionary parents. She was born on June 26, 1892, and until 1934 she lived mainly in China, where she was also called by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu (written in Chinese: 賽珍珠; pinyin: Sài Zhēnzhū).Buck was passionate about social issues ranging from women’s rights to adoption, and especially to the plight of babies of Asian women left behind when American soldiers returned to the U.S. following their tour … [Read more...]

All Wrong, All the Time: The Tawdry Literature of Nicolas Restif

Nicolas Restif

Dirty books, quickly and carelessly written—almost 200 of them.That’s the legacy of Nicolas-Edme Restif de la Bretonne, prolific French author whose works showcased the sordid aspects of French life and society in the 18th century.  Restif’s writings included a plan for legalizing and regulating prostitution, as well as a vast array of novels, plays, and essays on a wide range of topics.His 16-volume autobiography, Monsieur Nicolas, begins with stories of sexual experiences beginning in e … [Read more...]

Vegemite and Hot Cross Buns: A Rose By Any Other Name

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet. --Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2) Today, my friends, two stories from the Land Down Under.In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, two young teenagers—Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet—meet and fall in love.   Their relationship is doomed from the start, since their families are enemies. Juliet tells her beloved Romeo that names are meaningless—that she loves the person who is called “Montague” and not his name and not … [Read more...]


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