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Pearl S. Buck was born in 1892 in Hillsboro, West Virginia. Her father, Absalom Sydenstricker, was a Presbyterian missionary stationed in the small town of Chinkiang, outside Nanking. Consequently, Buck arrived in China when she was five months old. She was raised by a Chinese amah who told her popular tales and myths, and she could speak and write both English and Chinese by the age of four. She also played freely with the village children, and in this way learned much about Chinese life. You can check out more of her background at the link below.