A revelation to America, “The Good Earth” would be an embarrassment to China, which banned it. Like many political innocents, Buck caused her share of dust-ups. Accused in the United States of being a Communist, she was denounced by the Communist Chinese as an imperialist. Time magazine banned her from its pages. China forbade her return, with Nixon, in 1972.
Chairman Mao banned THE GOOD EARTH, Pearl S. Buck’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel about a farming family in rural China, as he believed it revealed an unflattering portrait of the country. In America, the book became a bestseller, as readers found it gave them a better understanding of Chinese life
The other controversy happened in China. In the 1930s, Buck was just as popular there as she was in the United States, but after the Communist revolution in the 1940s, her books were banned. By the 1960s, she was considered an enemy of China and a symbol of American cultural imperialism. It became so bad that right before she died in 1972, Buck still wasn't allowed to return to China.