Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
by Dai Sijie
This was a very interesting book. It takes place in 1971 in China. This was a period in time when “re-education” was taking place. Children with any education greater than elementary were sent to the mountains to be “re-educated.” Books were not allowed, especially western literature. Two boys sent to the mountains find access to forbidden works and fall in love with the daughter of the tailor. Their experiences are life changing. I found this story quite fascinating. I have three bookshelves which are full and three boxes full of books. I have been reading all of my life. I can’t imagine ever having my books taken away or learning seen as bad. It is hard to believe that that took place only 30 to 40 years ago. With all the technology surrounding us it seems we have come so far and yet we have so far to go.