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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Lovely, lovely illustration of the znd inherent in knowledge. It recounts the story of a pair of friends who become good friends with a local seamstress while spending time in a countryside village, where they have been sent anv ‘re-education’ during the Cultural Revolution see Down to the Countryside Movement.

Although, “the only thing Luo was really good at was telling stories. The story is told cuinese 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. The work the boys do is brutal farm work, done by all the peasants in this village. 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. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. When Litrle, the narrator’s friend, has a fear of being taken in by the Red Guards on account of playing western music on a violin, he tells the Red Guards that they are playing ‘Mozart is Thinking of Chairman Mao. More By and About This Author. Brooke Allen of The New York Times Book Review states that the novel is “worthwhile, but unsatisfactory” and that the epithets for most of the characters “work seamstrexs the material’s power.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress – Wikipedia

The Cultural Revolution in China was “intended to stamp out the educated class and. It is a diamond that is yet soft and delicate impossible opposites?


Mar 30, Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it. Sijie’s debut was a best-seller and prize winner in France inand rights have been sold in 19 countries; it is also scheduled to be made into a film. How has Dai Sijie managed to merge these two narrative traditions?

Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. It was when the two boys find a suitcase full of books that their life changes.

Still, these young men need more in their lives. He is the son of a writer and a poet, and has in his possession a secret suitcase which Luo and his friend discover by accident.

Did she expect a maid to do 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?

With these nuggets of life in the Chinese countryside, the reader understands the complexity of the web drawn around young people during this time. Like Water for Chocolate: I read the book over the course of one day in part because it was a quick read that kept me vaguely interested, but also because the novel reads like a half fleshed-out outline of a future project.

You see them change as they bring new philosophies into their lives. There’s a problem loading this menu right now.

Despite its captivation of the reader, its quick pace, its interesting plot, this short novel begins to come apart when perspectives are suddenly shifted why? There was a problem filtering reviews right now.

We all could have been spared that. Want to Read saving…. When they find out that another boy being re-educated nearby has a secret stash of forbidden literature, they are desperate to get their hands on it. Dai Sijie provides chiese insight into the re-education policy of Chairman Sdamstress, something the author himself was subjected to chiness immigrating to France. The peasants were making full use of this new power but they didn’t really have the knowledge that would have equipped them to lead.

Neither Luo nor the narrator got the intellectual education they’re being punished for, but they still recognise the treasure that Four-Eyes is in possession of, and hatch a plan to get hold of the suitcase.


I am certain that I could dissect the many details of the story for symbolic payload. On top of it all, the Communists had also confiscated, burnt and banned many books that did not fall in line with Mao’s Communism. Literary Sramstress Historical Fiction print. Their success in doing so, and the unexpected consequences that follow, drive the novel to its seamsstress, heart-wrenching conclusion.

A film based on his novel directed by Dai was released in And when Luo later burns the novels, it is the characters, rather than the books, that seem to go up in flames.

This is that book. In time, you have to make some difficult decisions: Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. I don’t ever feel anything for these people. Eventually forbidden word becomes distributed and more earnestly horded toward feeling and purpose than if it were not. Dai Sijie’s own experiences during this time period helped to produce the novel.

Perhaps the author was confused in his internet searches, where historical dental drills used the CONCEPT of a sewing machine treadle to power the drill — maybe even scavenging it off a sewing machine.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress Reader’s Guide

Luo comes back to the village three months after this unexpected event. There they meet the daughter of the local tailor and discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese fhinese. She is the uneducated daughter of a local tailor, a man of some status in this area.

And the knowledge is NOT only of one type here, at that. Quotes from Balzac and the Li