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The re-education consists of hard manual work: First off, the characters are wooden, and hard to identify with. Near the end there was a sudden shift of perspectives — most of the tale had narrated by Ma, but suddenly there was a section by Lou, the seamstress, and a random village person, for no discernable reason. I’m glad that she got away at the end and realized her own value, but do we even know who she is?

This was in fact just one-third of the book.

Balzac y la joven costurera china by Dai Sijie (2 star ratings)

Can someone please let me know what audience you think this joen suited for. I have questions that will never be answered, mainly on what will happen to the main characters — the two boys Ma and Lou, and their seamstress ocsturera. They try to be sneaky and smuggle banned books.

Hiding their most valuable treasure, the boys are able to transit to different worlds full of love, adventure and freedom, things they believed are lost ba,zac them forever. A short read–and certainly an interesting one–but not particularly enjoyable. So Mao was, after all, right? The book starts of fine, a quick and interesting plot captivates the readers and the authors imagery techniques compliment that beautifully. Preview — Balzac y la joven costurera china by Dai Sijie.


It recounts the story of a pair of friends who become good friends with a local seamstress while spending time in a countryside village, where they have been sent for ‘re-education’ during the Cultural Revolution see Down to the Countryside Movement. But now uoven I have given it some thought, this story was never about the two boys in the first place.

Balzac y La Joven Costurera China

It reads more like a parable or a short story than a novel. View all 4 comments.

I was hoping to feel their loss in their being separated from the comfort of their former lives. Nor is it possible that adjusting the time on one enthralling looking clock from the city would confuse villagers into thinking that their city transplants didn’t have to work that day. Sijie is confused about what he wants this book to be so the reader never figures it out – and the ending, if nothing else, is solid evidence for this.

The girl leaves them both, says something about Balzac, and starts walking to the nearest city. Luo and the narrator are a team, who go through every trouble or mischief together.

While Sijie builds tension very costurdra he never really delivers. I was hoping to feel their loss in their being separated f I’m not sure what i was expecting from this book, but i was disappointed by what i got.

There is so much potential in this novella, that it is incredibly frustrating to see it ultimately fail. Dai Cosgurera first novel tells the story about two teenage boys sent to the mountains in China for “re-education” under the Maoist regime.

Balzac y la joven costurera china by on Prezi

This novel has all the ingredients to be a charming love story, but fails to deliver when it matters most. He lives in Paris and writes in French.

There are enough better, more complex, and humanizing books and films about the Cultural Revolution that this doesn’t really hold up in comparison. You can also argue, that he might like the looks of the little seamstress enough to be with her and get her pregnantbut she’s not enough enough, you know?


Balzac y la joven costurera china

The story principally deals with the cultural universality of great literature and its redeeming power. Two teenaged boys are sent to the mountains during the Cultural Revolution to be “re-educated,” meaning “turned into peasants,” because their parents are well-educated and considered bourgeois elite.

These two boys were sent away from their homes, their families and their former education, and neither one –the primary narrator and latter his friend– had nothing to reflect on, but the fact that they discovered some forbidden books?

Of course, there were times when the journey was worth it eg.

This story is cute, kind of odd, and without much plot or character development. Luo decides that the seamstress is too uncultured and uneducated for him and he is determined to educate her and make her more sophisticated so that they can be together. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. In the first place, the characters are not very well-fleshed out. I don’t ever feel anything for these people.

Return to Book Page. They only gain a kind of false value as “found objects” in the surrealist style, mundane objects which are given significance and quickly forgotten because they were temporarily confusing.