Living Reed: A Novel of Korea

Living Reed: A Novel of Korea

Pearl S. Buck

Language: English

Pages: 480

ISBN: 1559210222

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Living Reed follows four generations of one family, the Kims, beginning with Il-han and his father, both advisors to the royal family in Korea. When Japan invades and the queen is killed, Il-han takes his family into hiding. In the ensuing years, he and his family take part in the secret war against the Japanese occupation. Pearl S. Buck's epic tells the history of Korea through the lives of one family. She paints an amazing portrait of the country, and makes us empathize with their struggle for sovereignty through her beautifully drawn characters.

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back. Then he had himself to battle. He longed for her. He yearned to go in search of her. He dreamed of taking her with him to Korea to his father’s house and staying with her at least until the child was born. He had told her of that house and of his family. Lying quietly side by side in the night after they had made love, she had often asked him to tell her about his childhood. She asked him of every small thing, as though she herself had lived in that house. “Did you sleep in the room next

of it, knowing he was under surveillance, and now he decided to return to writing while he waited for the war to end with victory for the western nations, as end it must since the Americans were using their vast national machinery for war. It was a bold decision. As long ago as the end of the war with Russia, Japan had forbidden such Korean newspapers as were not favorable to Japanese. When she annexed Korea in the Christian year 1910, all Korean newspapers were stopped. Only the underground

swarm into our valleys and over our mountains?” “In the age of Silla,” the abbot said, neither lifting nor dropping his mild voice, “an ancestor of your own, a prince, Hsin-lo, surnamed Kim, became a monk. He traveled to China and as he went up the river Yangtse he paused at the Mountain of Nine Flowers and received from the local magistrate as much silver as his prayer mat could cover. He then sat in meditation for seventy-five years, a white dog always at his side, and as he sat a radiance

enough? When she replied, he perceived that he had been wrong, and again he marveled, as he had often before, how it is that a man can live with a woman and have sons by her and still know very little of what she is. For Sunia spoke at once when he finished what he had to tell. “You did very well to refuse a post,” she said. It was night and they lay on the floor mattresses. A candle burned on the low table at his side. The house was silent and beyond the drawn screens the night was dark. He

been in charge ever since, without rank and helpless. And now I too give up. I want one Korean to know why—and you I can trust.” “I pray you, tell me everything,” Il-han urged. “It may be that I—” “No hope,” Foulk repeated. “But if you—want to know the worst, here it is.” With this he enumerated, one by one on his ten fingers, the steps by which he had come to his present despair. Left alone, he had returned to the task of beseeching his superiors to send the American advisers for whom the

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