Books: The Distaff Drudge

THE TIME IS NOON by Pearl Buck. 383 pages. John Day. $6.95.

Pearl Buck, 74, is the most durable of a class of doughty women writers—also including Edna Ferber and Faith Baldwin—who flourished in the '20s and '30s, weathered the '40s, and have been losing much of their audience ever since. They appealed to women who had got the vote and, later, the household appliances that set them free to ponder Womanhood. What they wanted to hear was how tough it all had been, and no one told them more relentlessly than Author Buck, who, in her 32 novels and obsessive memoir...

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