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Balzac and the little Chinese seamstress

Balzac and the little Chinese seamstress

Dai, Sijie, 1954-

1971: Mao's cultural Revolution is at its peak. Two sons of doctors, sent to 're-education' camps, forced to carry buckets of excrement up and down mountain paths, have only their sense of humour to keep them going. Although the attractive daughter of the local tailor also helps to distract them from the task at hand. The boys' true re-education starts, however, when they discover a hidden suitcase packed with the great Western novels of the nineteenth century. Their lives are transformed. And not only their lives: after listening to the stories of Balzac, the little seamstress will never be the same again

Paperback, Book. English.
Published London: Vintage, 2002, c2000

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Statement of responsibility: Dai Sijie ; translated by Ina Rilke
ISBN: 0099286432, 9780099286431
Note: Originally published: London: Chatto & Windus, 2001.
Language note: Translated from the French.
Physical Description: 172 p. ; 20 cm.
Subject: China History Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976 Fiction.
Uniform Title: Balzac et la petite tailleuse chinoise. English

Author note

Born in China in 1954, Dai Sijie is a film maker and novelist, who left China in 1984 for France where he now lives and works. He is the author of the international bestseller,Balzac and the Chinese Seamstress(shortlisted for theIndependentForeign Fiction prize) - which he made into a film -Mr Muo's Travelling Couch(winner of the Prix Femina) andOnce on a Moonless Night.


"A completely beguiling novel. always giving the reader a sense of being there. Very engaging"
Independent||"Wholly delightful, intelligent, funny and unexpected. A remarkable book, offering sheer delight"
Scotsman||"A simple story, seductively told, it touches and lifts up the beauty of human experience far beyond the mountains of Western China in which the story is set"
Times Literary Supplement||"Highly original and sweetly charming"
The Times||"If you read only one novel, choose this one: it's worth a hundred"
Le Figaro