This map plots the settings and references in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

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Sichuan Province, China
Creative Commons AttributionSichuan - Credit: Jerry Luo


The setting for Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is a remote village at the base of the fictional Phoenix of the Sky mountain in southwestern China, near Tibet. The village is very primitive, and has little contact with the outside world. The neighboring mountains are described as having jagged peaks and unforgiving terrain. The local people are farmers and miners, and many live in stilt houses.


Five Flower Lake, Sichuan
Creative Commons AttributionFive Flower Lake, Sichuan - Credit: Augapfel, Flickr





The author, Dai Sijie, was born in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, and he himself was sent for re-education in rural Sichuan.  Therefore it is reasonable to assume the setting is somewhere in Sichuan.  The Province is mountainous in the west, while the fertile Sichuan Basin in the east is a major agricultural center, producing rice, wheat and other grains.