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 $

Author: Tugul Vudolrajas
Country: Egypt
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Health and Food
Published (Last): 17 May 2009
Pages: 193
PDF File Size: 10.73 Mb
ePub File Size: 13.61 Mb
ISBN: 394-9-16347-914-1
Downloads: 4646
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Tuhn

The descriptions of seakstress in this strangest of times and places are so riveting that the reader longs for more. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is an enchanting tale that captures the magic of reading and the wonder of romantic awakening.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress Reader’s Guide

An immediate international bestseller, it tells the story of two hapless city boys exiled to a remote mountain village for re-education during China’s infamous Cultural Revolution. There the two friends meet the daughter of the local tailor and discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation. As they flirt with the seamstress and secretly devour these banned works, the two friends find transit from their grim surroundings to worlds they never imagined. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Read more Read less. Add both to Cart Add both to List. Buy the selected items together This item: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress: Ships from and sold by Amazon. Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. The Sound of Waves.

Like Water for Chocolate: Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Anchor Books October 29, Language: I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention cultural revolution chinese seamstress little chinese dai sijie little chinese seamstress balzac and the little young men chairman mao friend luo main characters china during the cultural western literature suitcase full narrator and his friend daughter of the local coming of age boys are sent mozart is thinking sewing machine remote mountain.

Showing of reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. The characters are fairly flat. The historical detail is pretty much lacking. There’s not much plot, not much interesting inner dialog, little character growth — basically nothing that would make a book worth reading and I’m pretty sure he got some things wrong in his retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo, which I find unforgivable.

And the sexism and culturism — wow. I would understand if it was culturally based within the story, but I’m having a lot of trouble believing this culture at this time was really THAT sexist. It’s not even the culture presented in the book that is sexist — it’s the main characters and the author who have the problem. They have to take Western books that they have never themselves read over the mountains to give the little seamstress culture.

As if they are conquering missionaries or something? Because a Chinese culture has no equivalent and b these boys are much more cultured than the little seamstress even though they have missed out on reading the exact same books she has?


They haven’t even yet read the books when they have to help her learn. And it seems to only be so lover boy can have sex with a girl who isn’t quite so beneath him. Because HIS dad is a famous dentist and HER dad is only a lowly tailor who never did anything useful for anyone except sew their clothes for them. At least she’s holding down a job. We can’t say the same for lover boy.

And really — all that pseudo-poetry about her virginal blood dripping on to the gingko leaves? We all could have been spared that. And him dressing her in a loin cloth because he was bringing culture to her naked self. She’s the tailor, for heaven’s sake.

And we are treated to no detail as to HOW they put this together? You’d think they’d have had to spend some time thinking on the engineering details, so we should have heard some of them too. I’m kind of skeptical this would even work. 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.

And a needle is not a drill.

And if you’re going to introduce the violin in the first page, you really need to keep with aand. Don’t just introduce and drop it. Playing that violin even if badly was the sum total of characterization that character got. So dropping it left this character even flatter than before. We went from 2-D to 0-D.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

And Four Eyes’ mother couldn’t be bothered to empty her night bucket? Did she expect a maid to do it? Did she plan to sleep with it next to her head all night? She really does bwlzac strike me as the sort of person who would sleep with that. This totally bothered me — way out of proportion to every other detail in the book that didn’t make sense.

Follow the Author

Really, if you want a decent story about the Cultural Revolution, read Wild Swans. It may be an autobiography and therefore not “real” literature, but it does a much better job with plot and characterization — and has the added benefit of actually teaching the reader some historical facts.

And there are pictures besides. Much bxlzac for the history buff. And if seamstreds want some actual literature, go read The Count of Monte Cristo.

Or some Balzac maybe. One person found this helpful. This book is focused on the lives of two teenage boys living in China. During a major cultural revolution in which the educated elite are seen as enemies, having parents who are doctors and dentists is a major disadvantage.

Such is the case for the narrator and his best friend, Luo. The two boys are taken from their families and balzca to live in nvel tiny village, where they are “re-educated,” meaning that they are forced to work on the farms, haul heavy bundles, and enter a novvel and terrifying coal mine. Because of the extent of their parents’ danger to authority, Luo and the narrator expect they will be exiled to this village for a chinse long time, and they try to find ways to make their miserable time there more bearable.


Luo falls in love with a girl–the daughter of the local tailor. Soon he is spending much of his time sneaking off to be with the little seamstress. Still, these thr men need more in their balzc. 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. I really enjoyed much of this story.

I liked the narrator, and I especially liked the ways in which he and his friend Luo interacted. They were able to make the best of their situation without getting beaten down, and I appreciated that they used great literature to buoy themselves up through difficult times.

I suppose I just expected more of an ending to this story. I felt like I was left hanging, not knowing what the next step for the narrator and Luo would be, and not really getting to explore Luo’s or the seamstress’ feelings. I felt as though we were leaving the story at a crucial point, and I was cheated out of a true resolution.

During the Cultural Revolution of China’s Chairman Mao Zedong, hapenning in the s, re-education of the intellectuals and professionals meant sending them off to remote villages to perform hard industrial and agricultural labor. At the same time, the communists had stripped the schools of many subjects already and many of the youth only had a rudimentary education. On top of it all, the Communists had also confiscated, burnt and banned many books that seamsterss not fall in line with Mao’s Communism.

In this setting, two young boys are relocated to a village for re-education.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie | : Books

There, they become friends with another young man called ‘Four-Eyes,’ whom they suspect is hiding a case of banned books.

One of them also courts ‘the Little Seamstress,’ the illiterate daughter of the tailor and eventually they become lovers. Although a fairly simple plot, it is like the Los Angeles Times Book Review says “an unexpected miracle – a delicate, and often hilarious, tale.

Clean, crisp, and even entertaining. Besides the fantastic use of language and its somewhat serious tone, what makes this book especially pleasant is the small funny incidents and humor placed randomly and unexpectedly throughout the book. It’s definitely a playful story amid China’s history.

One part of the book in particular was really cleverly funny. When Luo, 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. Lou is my ultimate favorite character in this book. He really drives the story the whole time.

He’s the one that suggests ‘Four-Eyes’ is hiding books in his case. He’s sly, he’s funny, and he’s adventurous. Plus, he’s the one that has a love affair with ‘the Little Seamstress. Although, “the only thing Luo was really good at was telling stories.