The Good Earth was written by American author Pearl S. Buck and was published in 1931. Buck was the wife of a Christian missionary and, by the time of the book’s publication, had been living in China for around forty years.
The first half of the novel is set on Wang Lung’s family farm. Although the exact setting is not named, it is believed that the farm is located in Anhwei, rural China. The area is a poor one.
The setting for the second half of the novel is also not named, but it is believed that the large city in southern China is Nanking. The family move there when a drought drives them into debt. The city is located on the opposite side of the Yangtze River from Anhwei. The family stays in Nanking until the revolution—it is then that they return to Anhwei.