“History tells us what happened – fiction tells us how it felt.”
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, a semi-autobiographical novel written by Dai Sijie about the “cultural re-education” of two teenage boys during the early 1970’s, our book selection for Book Day, will do just that: let us feel what communist Chinese policy inflicted on it’s so-called bourgeois population in order to cleanse them from anti-government ideas and pursuits, i.e. cultural and intellectual freedom.
In a witty and winsome story of how the illiterate peasant population in the remote area where the boys were sent was transformed by the young men’s entertaining them with stories based on films and literature, by hearing classical music for the first time, the book will help us understand the recent history of China and the continuing challenge of understanding the Chinese heritage and China’s central role in today’s world. Enjoy viewing a short clip from the film by clicking here.
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