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Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

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Paperback / softback

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Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
$24.99
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Description

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.

Accolades

Shortlisted for Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2002.

Reviews

* 'If you read only one novel, choose this one: it's worth a hundred.' Le Figaro
* 'If you don't read Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, then I'm wasting my time.' Bernard Pivot,French cultural critic on TV
* Wholly delightful, intelligent, funny and unexpected.A remarkable book, offering sheer delight - Scotsman
* A completely beguiling novel. always giving the reader a sense of being there.Very engaging - Independent
* Highly original and sweetly charming - The Times

Author Biography

Born in China in 1954, Dai Sijie is a filmmaker who was himself 're-educated' between 1971 and 1974, and left China in 1984 for France, where he has lived and worked ever since. This, his first novel, was an overnight sensation when it appeared in France in 2000, became an immediate bestseller and won five prizes. Rights to the novel have been sold in twenty-five countries and it is soon to be made into a film.
Release date NZ
March 7th, 2002
Author
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Imprint
Vintage
Pages
176
Dimensions
129x198x12
ISBN-13
9780099286431
Product ID
1644304

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