Author: Pearl Buck
Publisher: Dar al Bihar (1997)
Pages: 482 Binding: Paperback
Description from the publisher:
Bilingual English-Arabic version of “'The Good Earth'”.
Dual language books. The English and Arabic pages are facing each other, matching one-on-one with English on the left page, Arabic on the right page. Easy reference for individuals not strong in one of the languages. Well known fiction titles for different interests and levels.
Description of Book:
The story begins on Wang Lung's wedding day and follows the rise and fall of his fortunes. The House of Hwang, a family of wealthy landowners, lives in the nearby town. As the House of Hwang slowly declines due to opium use, frequent spending, and uncontrolled borrowing, Wang Lung, through his own hard work and the skill of his wife, O-Lan, slowly earns enough to buy land from the Hwang family. O-lan delivers two sons and a girl baby, who becomes mentally handicapped as a result of severe malnutrition brought on by famine. Her father greatly pities her and calls her "Poor Fool," a name by which she is addressed throughout her life. During the devastating famine and drought, the family must flee to the Southern City to find work. Wang Lung's malignant uncle offers to buy his possessions and land, but significantly less than their value. The family sells everything except the land and the house. Wang Lung then faces the long journey south, contemplating how the family will survive walking, when he discovers that the "Fire Wagon", a newly-built train in the village, takes people south for a fee.
While in the city, O-Lan and the children turn to begging while Wang Lung pulls a rickshaw. Wang Lung's father begs but does not earn any money, and sits looking at the city instead. They find themselves aliens among their more metropolitan countrymen who look different and speak in a fast accent. They no longer starve, due to the one-cent charitable meals of rice gruel, but still live in abject poverty. Wang Lung longs to return to his land. When armies approach the city Wang can only work at night hauling merchandise out of fear of being conscripted. When a food riot erupts, a mob breaks into the house of a fat and fearful rich man who offers Wang Lung all of his money in exchange for his life.
Upon returning home, Wang Lung buys an ox, farm tools, and even hires servants to help him work the precious land. Using jewels O-Lan looted from the house in the city, they buy the House of Hwang's remaining land. He is eventually able to send his sons to school and apprentice one as a merchant. As Wang Lung becomes more prosperous, he buys a concubine named Lotus. O-Lan dies, but not before witnessing her first son's wedding. Wang Lung and his family move into town and rent the old House of Hwang. Wang Lung, now an old man, wants peace, but there are always disputes, especially between his first and second sons. Wang Lung's third son runs away to become a soldier. At the end of the novel, Wang Lung overhears his sons planning to sell the land and tries to dissuade them. They say that they will do as he wishes, but smile knowingly at each other.
These special, condensed novels are intended for English speakers to learn Arabic, by reading side by side versions of these simplified famous novels.