Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
by Dai Sijie
In BriefAt the height of China's infamous Cultural Revolution, two privileged city boys are exiled to a remote mountain village for re-education. There they meet the daughter of the local tailor and discover a hidden stash of Western classic literature. As they flirt with the seamstress and devour the banned works, they find an escape from the grim surroundings to worlds they had never imagined.
Why you should read itDai Sijie's short semi-autobiographical novel encompasses the human struggles of love, pursuit of knowledge and growing up. It teaches us that there are worlds beyond those we know, and that exposure to those worlds helps us better understand ourselves and our own lives. Most importantly, it is a page-turner that leaves the reader with a thirst for the kind of literary discovery that the book's characters so treasure.