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  • Citywide Reads 2003


    Balzac & The Little Chinese Seamstress Book Cover

    by DAI SIJIE

     "A mesmerizing story, classic and new, fabulist and gritty in its realism, full of riches as in the best of tales. My imagination and heart were seized." -- Amy Tan

    Set in the 1970s during China's infamous Cultural Revolution, Balzac is the coming-of-age story of two adolescent boys who are sent from their city homes to a remote mountain region for "re-education" by the Communist government. The boys befriend a beguiling young girl, and all three fall in love with literature when they uncover a hidden collection of Western classics.

    Click here for our Balzac & The Little Chinese Seamstress resource guide (PDF).

    If you liked Balzac & The Little Chinese Seamstress, you might like:

    The Red Flower of China
    by Zhenhua Zhai

    The Attic: Memoir of a Chinese
    Landlord's Son
    by Guanlong Cao

    Once on a Moonless Night
    Dai Sijie



    Born in China in 1954, Dai Sijie (pronounced Dye See-Jee) is a filmmaker who was himself re-educated between 1971 and 1974. He left China in 1984 for France, where he has lived and worked ever since. His first novel, Balzac & The Little Chinese Seamstress, became an international literary smash upon its release and was the inaugural selection for Santa Monica Citywide Reads.

     Dai Sijie Author Photo





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