Dai Sijie - Credit: Jacques Sassier @ Gallimard Editions
Dai Sijie was born in Sichuan into an upper middle class family in 1954. His family persecuted under Mao on the basis that the rich had western, capitalist and “old ways” of thinking. Dai Sijie was sent to a communist re-education camp for 3 years, 1971 to 1974, during the Cultural Revolution. This experience allowed him to write what is now called scar literature: a genre of literature that seeks to address the hardships of the Revolution.
After the camp, he completed his education studying art history, and went to France in 1984 on a scholarship. He became a film director and directed several movies.
Dai Sijie wrote Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress in 2000, and went on to direct the film version, released in 2002. He also wrote the Prix Femina Award-winning Mr. Muo’s Traveling Couch (2003) and Once on a Moonless Night (2007). Two further novels are available in French only.