In December 1938, the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to an American woman for the first time. With this announcement, the 46-year old Pearl Sydenstricker Buck vaulted into the international spotlight.

East Wind West Wind follows the extraordinary life of a missionary child, born in West Virginia at the end of the nineteenth century and raised in rural China, who became one of the 20th century’s most popular authors.

Best known for her novel “The Good Earth”, Pearl Buck wrote over 100 books during her career. She was also an outspoken advocate for women’s rights, civil rights, the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act, mixed race adoption and tolerance for the mentally challenged. The final segment of the documentary sums up her extraordinary legacy.

Pearl Buck was a citizen of the world. Her remarkable journey earned both respect and enmity among her peers. However, in the end the critics never mattered to Buck as she had an agenda motivated by her unique moral compass.