Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress

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9780099452249: Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress

Here is one of those rare novels, so captivatingly original, so absurdly funny, surprising and moving, that it crosses all boundaries. In 1971 Mao's campaign against the intellectuals is at its height. Our narrator and his best friend, Luo, distinctly unintellectual but guilty of being the sons of doctors, have been sent to a remote mountain village to be 'reeducated'. The kind of education that takes place among the peasants of Phoenix Mountain involves carting buckets of excrement up and down precipitous, foggy paths, but the two seventeen-year-olds have a violin and their sense of humour to keep them going. Further distraction is provided by the attractive daughter of the local tailor, possessor of a particularly fine pair of feet. Their true re-education starts, however, when they discover a comrade's hidden stash of classics of great nineteenth-century Western literature - Balzac, Dickens, Dumas, Tolstoy and others, in Chinese translation. They need all their ingenuity to get their hands on the forbidden books, but when they do their lives are turned upside down. And not only their lives: after listening to their dangerously seductive retellings of Balzac, the Little Seamstress will never be the same again. Without betraying the truth of what happened, Dai Sijie transforms the bleak events of China's Cultural Revolution into an enchanting and unexpected story about the resilience of the human spirit and the magical power of great storytelling.

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From the Back Cover:

“An unexpected miracle–a delicate, and often hilarious, tale.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

“A funny, touching, sly and altogether delightful novel . . . about the power of art to enlarge our imaginations.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Poetic and affecting. . . . The descriptions of life in this strangest of times and places are so riveting that the reader longs for more.” —The New York Times Book Review

“[A] thrilling and . . . truly great work. . . . [A] richly complex fable.” —San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

“Gives the rest of the world a glimpse into that dark place where the human spirit continues, against all odds, to shine its light.” —The Boston Globe

“A wonderful novel . . . formed by detailed layering and exquisite craftsmanship, like a beautifully tailored garment.” —The Chicago Tribune

“Poignant, humorous, and romantic.” —The New York Times

“Seduces readers into its world. . . . [A] very wise little story of love and illusion.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

From the Inside Flap:

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is an enchanting tale that captures the magic of reading and the wonder of romantic awakening. 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.

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Sijie, Dai
Published by Vintage (2003)
ISBN 10: 0099452243 ISBN 13: 9780099452249
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Book Description Vintage, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110099452243

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Dai Sijie
Published by Vintage (2003)
ISBN 10: 0099452243 ISBN 13: 9780099452249
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Book Description Vintage, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0099452243

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