Read Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress: A Novel book reviews & author details and more at Free delivery on qualified orders. New York Times Bestseller Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is an enchanting tale that captures the magic of reading and the wonder of romantic. BALZAC AND THE LITTLE CHINESE SEAMSTRESS. Sijie Dai, Author, Dai Sijie, Author, Ina Rilke, Translator, trans. from the French by Ina Rilke. Knopf $

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San Jose Mercury News. See all 9 questions about Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress…. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress One version of the front cover of the novel.

First novels

In what ways does Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress semstress a similar power on its readers? The story principally deals with the cultural universality of great literature and its redeeming power. And that is all I can say, except that I highly recommend it.

On its surface, this book has all the ingredients for a really interesting read: How can Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress be read as a coming-of-age novel? Didn’t learn anything about local traditions and customs, a great minus point in my opinion.

Dai Sijie provides an insight into the re-education policy of Chairman Mao, something the author himself was subjected to before immigrating to France. They are even excused from work for a few days to see films at a nearby town and later retell the story to the townspeople, through a process known as “oral cinema”. The novel, written by Dai Sijie, is about two teenage boys during the Chinese Cultural RevolutionLuo, described as having “a genius for storytelling”, [1] and the unnamed narrator, “a fine musician”.


I think that the problem is that this book gives great argument against the very thing that it lauds, only it does not seem to realize it. In what ways does China under Chairman Mao, as represented in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstressresemble Afghanistan under the Taliban, or other cultures that strive to keep the modern world from undermining traditional or religious values?

The story is told from the perspective of one of the boys, Ma, and is about his relationship with his friend Luo and their preoccupation with a young seamstress in a nearby village. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: Other characters flit in and out, but the story focuses on these people. Don’t just introduce and drop it.

This is a quick and pretty read, and is heartily recommended. Seamstess to Know Us. The story revolves around a part of history that I feel somewhat ignorant about, the story takes place during the Chinese cultural revolution a time in history where communism was a means to suppress and take away individuality.

Lovely, lovely illustration of the dichotomy inherent in knowledge.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

But when they bargain their way into obtaining a forbidden Balzac novel from their friend Four Eyes, a new and dizzyingly vast world opens up to them. New York Times Book Review.

When another city boy leaves the mountains, the friends steal a suitcase full of forbidden books he has been hiding, knowing he will be afraid to call the authorities.

The only possessions they have been allowed to keep on the Mountain are the narrator’s violin and Luo’s alarm clock, which quickly becomes a novelty. As they flirt with the seamstress and secr In this enchanting tale about the magic of reading and the wonder of romantic awakening, two hapless city boys are exiled to a remote mountain village for reeducation during China’s infamous Cultural Revolution.


Paperbackpages. Retrieved 23 November The novel won five French literary prizes. It was steady and paced and there was never a dull moment. Enough, obviously, to plow through it in a day. They also discover teenage love and obsession. They then embark on a long journey of self-discovery, as well as bettering the village. One person found this helpful.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress – Wikipedia

Loved the blurb, but the real book was lacking. And dice is cast. It deserves 5 stars in the skill to expose the different ironic dichotomies.

This is that book. Mar 07, Emilie rated it liked it. At the same time, seamatress communists had stripped the schools of many subjects already and many of the youth only had a rudimentary education.

Story-telling plays a large part in this story. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

And we are treated to no detail as to HOW they put this together? I’ve rated this book three stars; in spite of my review, I did still enjoy it to a certain degree. The Little Seamstress of the title is a beautiful young woman, who becomes lover to one of the young men both are in their late teens.

This novel is short, but it manages to cram in a lot of stuff about the daily life during the Cultural Revolution.