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Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. It became an object of veneration, almost. Paperbackpages. The little seamstress is present, but to me more as a side note and not the actual center of the story.

During the Cultural Revolution in China, when Mao Zedong was at the pinnacle of his glory, he launched a campaign that would leave the country profoundly altered. To view it, click here.

In my opinion, there’s not nearly enough fiction out there covering China’s Cultural Revolution, and the fact that this centers on the story of two young men, sons of dissidents, relocated for re-education, who discover the world of French philosophy and literature through banned books, should have made this one of my favorite novels ever. I was hoping to feel their loss in their being separated from the comfort of their former lives.

Published June 28th by Salamandra first published You can argue now, that he is trying to improve the seamstress’ life by helping her get a better education. Moreover, the novel is told in the past tense from the first person, and This book tells of the power of literature to impact people’s lives.

To ask other readers questions about Balzac y la joven costurera chinaplease sign up. The historical nugget of “re-education” during the Cultural Revolution of China intrigues, but unfortunately the characters are flat and virtually emotionless. Which I guess makes me realize that Sijie seemed so concerned with showing off his erudition that he got too lazy to flesh out the characters or plot.

There is not even enough information for readers to fill in the gaps on their own.


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Trying to make the little seamstress a more educated young woman, Luo reads some of the t to her, not knowing that he will change her life forever. For me this was the type of book that I thought had a promising plot at the start, then reading the final few pages I wondered if I had skipped some pages before as parts had no relevance and were just confusing.

The stories and authors that the teenagers read have little bearing on the plot–it feels like the author is name-dropping, rather than actually showing the impact that these specific texts can have.

In the first place, the characters are not very well-fleshed out.

He has also created Ma and Lou as the means for books to reach the seamstress, and having done so, cared for them no longer, and if the reader has gotten invested, too bad.

Nor is it possible that adjusting the time on one enthralling looking clock from the city would confuse villagers into thinking that their city transplants didn’t have to work that day. Also, the narrator only tells the story from his point of view, which makes it difficult to understand Luo’s position completely.

In the end, the plan works but she ends up becoming too cultured for him and longs for the life of the city. Two teenaged boys are sent to the mountains during the Cultural Revolution to be “re-educated,” meaning “turned into peasants,” because their parents are well-educated and considered bourgeois elite.

The ending is slow and boring. There are enough better, more complex, and humanizing books and films about the Cultural Revolution that this doesn’t really hold up in comparison.

Balzac y La Joven Costurera China

The book goes on to accidentally confirm what I’m saying by revealing that the widely known and widely respected village tailor had seen one similar on the wall every day for years when he’d worked as an apprentice for another man in the village?

The best I can do after finishing this book is E’ bastato leggere il nome di Balzac Quanto adoro quell’uomo! Part of me wanted to credit the book for creating a condition of clarity cosutrera a contradiction or lla, as the surrealists apparently tried so hard to do. The book is some bizarre, nihilistic mix of contempt for villagers, technology, and city intellectuals all at once.


There’s not much to really say, except that it’s about these two teen friends who have to be “reeducated” but the reeducation doesn’t seem serious as they can travel around to other villages, steal forbidden books and read, as well as go to movies to become the village storytellers. The story is told from the perspective of one of the boys, Ma, and is about his relationship with clsturera friend Luo and their preoccupation with a young seamstress in a nearby village.

Luo decides that the seamstress costueera too uncultured and uneducated for him and he is determined to educate her and make her more sophisticated so that they can be together.

It’s a nice and easy book for a quick read, but it gives too little insight into the life of the protagonist to become truly relevant. I was hoping to feel their loss in their being separated f I’m not sure what i was expecting from this book, but i was disappointed by cotsurera i got. Costurra narrator’s feelings are only touched on briefly and the living conditions of living through Mao’s cultural revolution could have been explored in more detail.

Balzac y la joven costurera china by Dai Sijie (2 star ratings)

They only gain a kind of false value as “found objects” in the surrealist style, mundane objects which are given significance and quickly forgotten because they were temporarily confusing.

I libri che leggono regalano loro emozioni, bellezza e poesia e saranno utili per conquistare la “piccola sarta cinese”. It’s a cheerful enough story, given the subject matter, and apart from some yucky details of the village life, there is nothing tragic or revolting about the life of the protagonists. Luo falls in love with the little seamstress, because she’s pretty and sweet.