Annotations for Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress : A Novel

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is an enchanting tale that captures the magic of reading and the wonder of romantic awakening. An immediate international bestseller, it tells the story of two hapless city boys exiled to a remote mountain village for re-education during China's infamous Cultural Revolution. There the two friends meet the daughter of the local tailor and discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation. As they flirt with the seamstress and secretly devour these banned works, the two friends find transit from their grim surroundings to worlds they never imagined.

Random House, Inc.
During Mao Tse-Tung's "Cultural Revolution," applauded at the time by all correct thinking people in the West, intellectuals, doctors, lawyers and their children were sent to remote and primitive areas of China to be "re-educated." This meant performing menial tasks such as breaking rocks and carrying buckets of dung. The narrator of this marvelous book and his friend Luo are both children of doctors who are undergoing their "re-education." Their sole distraction is the beautiful daughter of the local tailor. But then their "re-education" takes a dramatic turn for the better. They discover a hidden cache of Western literature in Chinese translation, and they are transported to worlds they thought they would never see again.