The Philadelphia office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced yesterday that it had found the original manuscript of Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth (John Day, 1931), which had been considered missing since the mid-1960s. Buck's novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and helped earn the author a Nobel Prize in 1938. The Good Earth, which tells the story of village family life in China, was the second of Buck's seventy published novels.
According to an article in today's Philadelphia Enquirer, David Bloom, the vice president of manuscripts and books for Samuel T. Freeman and Co. in Philadelphia, contacted the FBI after the manuscript was consigned to the auction house. Bloom says the manuscript contains a large number of annotations in Buck's hand. The consignment also contains letters to Buck from "world figures," according to the Enquirer.
Edgar S. Walsh, Buck's son and administrator of the author's estate, is expected to claim ownership of his mother's manuscript. Buck died in 1973 in Vermont.