Review: ‘Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress’

Paperback Fool


Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

by Dai Sijie

  • Date finished: April 8
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Year: 2000
  • Project: n/a
  • Reading List: Spring 2013,
  • Grade: B+
  • Thoughts upon finishing: 

Being a booknerd and former English major, I tend to know what I’m getting myself into every time I read a new book. And so it’s always a pleasant surprise whenever I read something totally unexpected and wonderful.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress tells the story of two Chinese teenagers during the Mao years who are sent to the mountains to be “re-educated” because their parents are enemies of the Communist regime. While there, they discover an illicit trunk full of Western novels – a discovery that will change their life.

Kind of like Reading Lolita in Tehran, I like these stories because they illustrate the overwhelming power of literature as a force for good (kind of like a superhero!)…

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