Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

  • September 12, 2018 • 5 PM – 6 PM
  • Graham Chapel

For two teenage boys growing up in China under the draconian rule of the Cultural Revolution, never exposed to any books other than Maoist-approved propaganda, finding a suitcase full of forbidden novels about love, passion and desire – about the human condition — transformed their lives and those they cared for, especially a beautiful but illiterate seamstress.

This brief summary of the Class of 2022’s Common Read Book, “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress” by Dai Sijie, provides clues to the central themes of the novel which Shanghai-born novelist and poet Qiu Xiaolong, who as a boy experienced the damaging effects of the Cultural Revolution first hand, will illuminate.