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Balzac y la joven costurera China by Sijie…

Balzac y la joven costurera China (original 2000; edition 2001)

by Sijie Dai, Manuel Serrat Crespo (Translator)

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5,223181851 (3.6)375
Title:Balzac y la joven costurera China
Authors:Sijie Dai (Author)
Other authors:Manuel Serrat Crespo (Translator)
Info:Barcelona : Salamandra
Collections:Your library

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Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie (2000)


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English (161)  Spanish (5)  French (4)  Italian (3)  Catalan (3)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  All languages (181)
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
What a delightful book - beautifully written - poetic. During China's Cultural Revolution, three young men are sent to "Phoenix in the Sky" (a mountain village) for re-education. One has a secret horde of books. The other two are captivated by the books and by the little seamstress. Humor abounds, as well. I loved this little book.

I have read this book several times. It is luminously written, and even makes me want to read Balzac (although I still haven't done so). For me, it answers the question, "Why do you read so much?" ( )
  BookConcierge | May 27, 2016 |
Interesting book about what happens to people when a society is thrown into upheaval, as well as the effect that education can have. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
If the characters were drawn with a bit more detail, I think I would have been able to accept the ending a little easier. Otherwise, I enjoyed the book which shows us a world where books can change lives - even in the often dismal days of the Cultural Revolution in China. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
A story that shows the human need for and value of stories. The ending explains the title. ( )
  raizel | Jan 23, 2016 |
Well, maybe 2.5 stars. After all, I didn't dislike it so much as I just didn't like it. It is said to be a sort of autobiographical book, but I didn't get the point. If the point was friendship, it was lacking. If the point was the power of literature, it was stunted. If the point was social and cultural repression, it was boring.

This novel was made into a movie, which I can't understand, either. I don't see enough material in the184 pages to make a movie.

Getting to the title, which is what caused me to purchase the book, Balzac is Honoré de Balzac, a French novelist and playwright. With no real legacy in the United States, his most famous claim to fame to me is his influence on Charles Dickens. With that being said, the English reader is much more familiar with this author, as BBC miniseries' would suggest.

The little Chinese seamstress played a supporting roll, but no more than Four-Eyes or the headman. Again, her significance in the novel is not immediately evident to me. Unless she represents the effect of literature on a person. However, I would argue that her unplanned pregnancy may have contributed to her life change in a more substantial way than Luo's verbal renditions of the written contraband.

I cannot recommend this one. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (98 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dai Sijieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Häupl, MichaelForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Induni, Giò WaeckerlinÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marfany, MartaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mottinger, RudolfContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rilke, InaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schneider, HelmutInterviewersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The village headman, a man of about fifty, sat cross-legged in the centre of the room, close to the coals burning in a hearth that was hollowed out of the floor; he was inspecting my violin.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385722206, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:31 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

At the height of Mao's infamous Cultural Revolution, two boys are among hundreds of thousands exiled to the countryside for "re-education." The narrator and his best friend, Luo, guilty of being the sons of doctors, find themselves in a remote village where, among the peasants of Phoenix mountain, they are made to cart buckets of excrement up and down precipitous winding paths. Their meager distractions include a violin--as well as, before long, the beautiful daughter of the local tailor. But it is when the two discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation that their re-education takes its most surprising turn. While ingeniously concealing their forbidden treasure, the boys find transit to worlds they had thought lost forever. And after listening to their dangerously seductive retellings of Balzac, even the Little Seamstress will be forever transformed.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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