Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
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|Author||: Sijie Dai|
|Editor||: Alfred a Knopf Incorporated|
During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, two boys are sent to the country for reeducation, where their lives take an unexpected turn when they meet the beautiful daughter of a local tailor and stumble upon a forbidden stash of Western literature.
|Author||: Bright Summaries|
Unlock the more straightforward side of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress with this concise and insightful summary and analysis! This engaging summary presents an analysis of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie, a moving account of how two young Chinese men discover love and Western literature after the Communist regime sends them to a remote mountain village to be reeducated. As well as offering piercing social commentary on the realities of state oppression, this is a coming-of-age novel with a timeless, heartfelt message about love, friendship and the power of literature. Dai Sijie is an award-winning writer and filmmaker of Chinese birth, who has lived and worked in France since 1984. Find out everything you need to know about Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress in a fraction of the time! This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you: • A complete plot summary • Character studies • Key themes and symbols • Questions for further reflection Why choose BrightSummaries.com? Available in print and digital format, our publications are designed to accompany you in your reading journey. The clear and concise style makes for easy understanding, providing the perfect opportunity to improve your literary knowledge in no time. See the very best of literature in a whole new light with BrightSummaries.com!
|Author||: Dai Sijie|
After years of studying Freud in Paris, Mr. Muo returns home to bring the benefits of psychoanalysis to twenty-first-century China and to somehow free his college sweetheart, now a political prisoner, a quest that leads him to the sadistic local magistrate, Judge Di, who demands a virgin maiden in exchange for clemency. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.
|Author||: Gale, Cengage Learning|
|Editor||: Gale, Cengage Learning|
A Study Guide for Dai Sijie's "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Novels for Students. This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Novels for Students for all of your research needs.
|Author||: Dai Sijie|
A precious scroll inscribed with a lost Buddhist sutra—once owned by Pu Yi, the last emperor of China—is illicitly sold to an eccentric French linguist, Paul d’Ampere, who is imprisoned as a result. In jail, he devotes himself to studying its ancient text. A young Western scholar in China hears this account from the grocer Toomchooq, whose name mysteriously connects him to the document. She falls in love with both teller and tale, but when d’Ampere is killed in prison, Toomchooq disappears, and she, pregnant with his child, embarks on a search for her lost love and the scroll that begins, “Once on a moonless night . . .”
|Author||: Michelle E. Bloom|
|Editor||: University of Hawaii Press|
Transnational cinemas are eclipsing national cinemas in the contemporary world, and Sino-French films exemplify this phenomenon through the cinematic coupling of the Sinophone and the Francophone, linking France not just with the Chinese mainland but also with the rest of the Chinese-speaking world. Sinophone directors most often reach out to French cinema by referencing and adapting it. They set their films in Paris and metropolitan France, cast French actors, and sometimes use French dialogue, even when the directors themselves don't understand it. They tend to view France as mysterious, sexy, and sophisticated, just as the French see China and Taiwan as exotic. As Michelle E. Bloom makes clear, many films move past a simplistic opposition between East and West and beyond Orientalist and Occidentalist cross-cultural interplay. Bloom focuses on films that have appeared since 2000 such as Tsai Ming-liang's What Time Is It There? , Hou Hsiao-hsien's Flight of the Red Balloon, and Dai Sijie's Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. She views the work of these well-known directors through a Sino-French optic, applying the tropes of métissage (or biraciality), intertextuality, adaptation and remake, translation, and imitation to shed new light on their work. She also calls attention to important, lesser studied films: Taiwanese director Cheng Yu-chieh's Yang Yang, which depicts the up-and-coming Taiwanese star Sandrine Pinna as a mixed race beauty; and Emily Tang Xiaobai's debut film Conjugation, which contrasts Paris and post-Tiananmen Square Beijing, the one an incarnation of liberty, the other a place of entrapment. Bloom's insightful analysis also probes what such films reveal about their Taiwanese and Chinese creators. Scholars have long studied Sino-French literature, but this inaugural full-length work on Sino-French cinema maps uncharted territory, offering a paradigm for understanding other cross-cultural interminglings and tools to study transnational cinema and world cinema. The Sino-French, rich and multifaceted, linguistically, culturally, and ethnically, constitutes an important part of film studies, Francophone studies, Sinophone studies and myriad other fields. This is a must-read for students, scholars, and lovers of film.
|Author||: Hsiu-Chuang Deppman|
|Editor||: University of Hawaii Press|
Hsiu-Chang Deppman puts landmark contemporary Chinese films in the context of their literary origins & explores how the best Chinese directors adapt fictional narratives & styles for film.
|Author||: Anuradha Roy|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
“This is why we read fiction at all” raves the Washington Post: Family life meets historical romance in this critically acclaimed, “gorgeous, sweeping novel” (Ms Magazine) about two people who find each other when abandoned by everyone else, marking the signal American debut of an award-winning writer who richly deserves her international acclaim. On the outskirts of a small town in Bengal, a family lives in solitude in their vast new house. Here, lives intertwine and unravel. A widower struggles with his love for an unmarried cousin. Bakul, a motherless daughter, runs wild with Mukunda, an orphan of unknown caste adopted by the family. Confined in a room at the top of the house, a matriarch goes slowly mad; her husband searches for its cause as he shapes and reshapes his garden. As Mukunda and Bakul grow, their intense closeness matures into something else, and Mukunda is banished to Calcutta. He prospers in the turbulent years after Partition, but his thoughts stay with his home, with Bakul, with all that he has lost—and he knows that he must return.
|Author||: Moying Li|
|Editor||: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)|
Most people cannot remember when their childhood ended. I, on the other hand, have a crystal-clear memory of that moment. It happened at night in the summer of 1966, when my elementary school headmaster hanged himself. In 1966 Moying, a student at a prestigious language school in Beijing, seems destined for a promising future. Everything changes when student Red Guards begin to orchestrate brutal assaults, violent public humiliations, and forced confessions. After watching her teachers and headmasters beaten in public, Moying flees school for the safety of home, only to witness her beloved grandmother denounced, her home ransacked, her father's precious books flung onto the back of a truck, and Baba himself taken away. From labor camp, Baba entrusts a friend to deliver a reading list of banned books to Moying so that she can continue to learn. Now, with so much of her life at risk, she finds sanctuary in the world of imagination and learning. This inspiring memoir follows Moying Li from age twelve to twenty-two, illuminating a complex, dark time in China's history as it tells the compelling story of one girl's difficult but determined coming-of-age during the Cultural Revolution. Snow Falling in Spring is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
|Author||: Yan Lianke|
|Editor||: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic|
A satirical novel set in 1967 China from the Franz Kafka Prize-winning author of Lenin’s Kiss—“one of China’s greatest living authors” (The Guardian). Serve the People! is the story of a forbidden love affair between Liu Lian, the young wife of a Division Commander in Communist China, and a servant in her household, Wu Dawang. Left to idle at home while her husband furthers the revolution, Liu Lian establishes a rule for her orderly: whenever the household’s wooden Serve the People! sign is removed from its usual place on the dinner table and placed elsewhere, Wu Dawang is to stop what he is doing and attend to her needs upstairs. What follows is a “steamy and subversive” story and comic satire on Mao’s slogan and the political and sexual taboos of his regime (The Guardian). Originally banned in China, Serve the People! is the first work from Yan Lianke to be translated into English, and “a scathing sendup of life in 1960s China during the chaos of the country’s Cultural Revolution” (LA Times).
|Author||: Myla Goldberg|
Eliza Naumann, a seemingly unremarkable nine-year-old, expects never to fit into her gifted family: her autodidact father, Saul, absorbed in his study of Jewish mysticism; her brother, Aaron, the vessel of his father's spiritual ambitions; and her brilliant but distant lawyer-mom, Miriam. But when Eliza sweeps her school and district spelling bees in quick succession, Saul takes it as a sign that she is destined for greatness. In this altered reality, Saul inducts her into his hallowed study and lavishes upon her the attention previously reserved for Aaron, who in his displacement embarks upon a lone quest for spiritual fulfillment. When Miriam's secret life triggers a familial explosion, it is Eliza who must order the chaos. Myla Goldberg's keen eye for detail brings Eliza's journey to three-dimensional life. As she rises from classroom obscurity to the blinding lights and outsized expectations of the National Bee, Eliza's small pains and large joys are finely wrought and deeply felt. Not merely a coming-of-age story, Goldberg's first novel delicately examines the unraveling fabric of one family. The outcome of this tale is as startling and unconventional as her prose, which wields its metaphors sharply and rings with maturity. The work of a lyrical and gifted storyteller, Bee Season marks the arrival of an extraordinarily talented new writer.
|Author||: Naguib Mahfouz|
Widely acclaimed as Naguib Mahfouz's best novel, Midaq Alley brings to life one of the hustling, teeming back alleys of Cairo in the 1940s. From Zaita the cripple-maker to Kirsha the hedonistic cafe owner, from Abbas the barber who mistakes greed for love to Hamida who sells her soul to escape the alley, from waiters and widows to politicians, pimps, and poets, the inhabitants of Midaq Alley vividly evoke Egypt's largest city as it teeters on the brink of change. Never has Nobel Prize-winner Mahfouz's talent for rich and luxurious storytelling been more evident than here, in his portrait of one small street as a microcosm of the world on the threshold of modernity.
|Author||: Sheldon H. Lu,Jiayan Mi|
|Editor||: Hong Kong University Press|
This anthology is a book-length study of China's ecosystem through the lens of cinema. Proposing 'ecocinema' as a new critical framework, the volume collectively investigates a wide range of urgent topics in today's world.
|Author||: Lesley Pearse|
|Editor||: Penguin UK|
Discover the enthralling new Sunday Times bestselling story of murder and lies, perfect for every Lesley Pearse fan THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP 5 BESTSELLER AND WINNER OF THE WOMAN & HOME BOOK CHOICE AWARD 2020 In a Shepherd's Bush bedsit, Amelia White dreams of being a reporter. The closest she's come is selling advertising in the local paper. Until the fateful day she stumbles on a truly shocking scoop. Round the corner from her home, she discovers the body of a murder victim, dumped among the rubbish. When the police and reporters descend, Amelia is horrified at the assumptions made and lies soon to be spread about this poor young woman. Determined to protect the victim from these smears and help her grieving family, she convinces her paper's editor to allow her to take up her pen and tell the true story. But when another body is found and the police investigation stalls, Amelia - uncovering new witnesses and suspects in her search for clues - discovers that she may be the only one with any chance of learning the truth and stopping more killings. If only she can work out who the liar is . . . ____________ 'A compelling page-turner' Daily Mail 'Gripping and suspenseful, a fast-paced murder mystery, love story and a young woman's journey of self discovery' Daily Express 'This latest book from master storyteller Lesley Pearse is gripping and full of twists. With an addictive and pacy plot, this will keep you guessing until the end' My Weekly 'A page turner full of suspense, compelling and heartwarming, Liar is a brilliant read. I couldn't put it down' Woman's Way Praise for Lesley Pearse 'Storytelling at its very best' Daily Mail 'Evocative, compelling, told from the heart' Sunday Express 'Intriguing, heart-tugging, beautifully written' Closer
|Author||: Lynne Cox|
• At age fourteen, she swam twenty-six miles from Catalina Island to the California mainland. • At ages fifteen and sixteen, she broke the men’s and women’s world records for swimming the English Channel—a thirty-three-mile crossing in nine hours, thirty-six minutes. • At eighteen, she swam the twenty-mile Cook Strait between North and South Islands of New Zealand, was caught on a massive swell, found herself after five hours farther from the finish than when she started, and still completed the swim. • She was the first to swim the Strait of Magellan, the most treacherous three-mile stretch of water in the world. • The first to swim the Bering Strait—the channel that forms the boundary line between the United States and Russia—from Alaska to Siberia, thereby opening the U.S.-Soviet border for the first time in forty-eight years, swimming in thirty-eight-degree water in four-foot waves without a shark cage, wet suit, or lanolin grease. • The first to swim the Cape of Good Hope (a shark emerged from the kelp, its jaws wide open, and was shot as it headed straight for her). In this extraordinary book, the world’s most extraordinary distance swimmer writes about her emotional and spiritual need to swim and about the almost mystical act of swimming itself. Lynne Cox trained hard from age nine, working with an Olympic coach, swimming five to twelve miles each day in the Pacific. At age eleven, she swam even when hail made the water “like cold tapioca pudding” and was told she would one day swim the English Channel. Four years later—not yet out of high school—she broke the men’s and women’s world records for the Channel swim. In 1987, she swam the Bering Strait from America to the Soviet Union—a feat that, according to Gorbachev, helped diminish tensions between Russia and the United States. Lynne Cox’s relationship with the water is almost mystical: she describes swimming as flying, and remembers swimming at night through flocks of flying fish the size of mockingbirds, remembers being escorted by a pod of dolphins that came to her off New Zealand. She has a photographic memory of her swims. She tells us how she conceived of, planned, and trained for each, and re-creates for us the experience of swimming (almost) unswimmable bodies of water, including her most recent astonishing one-mile swim to Antarctica in thirty-two-degree water without a wet suit. She tells us how, through training and by taking advantage of her naturally plump physique, she is able to create more heat in the water than she loses. Lynne Cox has swum the Mediterranean, the three-mile Strait of Messina, under the ancient bridges of Kunning Lake, below the old summer palace of the emperor of China in Beijing. Breaking records no longer interests her. She writes about the ways in which these swims instead became vehicles for personal goals, how she sees herself as the lone swimmer among the waves, pitting her courage against the odds, drawn to dangerous places and treacherous waters that, since ancient times, have challenged sailors in ships.
|Author||: Madeleine Thien|
|Editor||: Knopf Canada|
Winner of the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and longlisted for the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, this extraordinary novel tells the story of three musicians in China before, during and after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Madeleine Thien's new novel is breathtaking in scope and ambition even as it is hauntingly intimate. With the ease and skill of a master storyteller, Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations--those who lived through Mao's Cultural Revolution in the mid-twentieth century; and the children of the survivors, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square in 1989, in one of the most important political moments of the past century. With exquisite writing sharpened by a surprising vein of wit and sly humour, Thien has crafted unforgettable characters who are by turns flinty and headstrong, dreamy and tender, foolish and wise. At the centre of this epic tale, as capacious and mysterious as life itself, are enigmatic Sparrow, a genius composer who wishes desperately to create music yet can find truth only in silence; his mother and aunt, Big Mother Knife and Swirl, survivors with captivating singing voices and an unbreakable bond; Sparrow's ethereal cousin Zhuli, daughter of Swirl and storyteller Wen the Dreamer, who as a child witnesses the denunciation of her parents and as a young woman becomes the target of denunciations herself; and headstrong, talented Kai, best friend of Sparrow and Zhuli, and a determinedly successful musician who is a virtuoso at masking his true self until the day he can hide no longer. Here, too, is Kai's daughter, the ever-questioning mathematician Marie, who pieces together the tale of her fractured family in present-day Vancouver, seeking a fragile meaning in the layers of their collective story. With maturity and sophistication, humour and beauty, a huge heart and impressive understanding, Thien has crafted a novel that is at once beautifully intimate and grandly political, rooted in the details of daily life inside China, yet transcendent in its universality.
|Author||: Rushdie Salman|
|Editor||: Penguin UK|
Haroun's father is the greatest of all storyletters. His magical stories bring laughter to the sad city of Alifbay. But one day something goes wrong and his father runs out of stories to tell. Haroun is determined to return the storyteller's gift to his father. So he flies off on the back of the Hoopie bird to the Sea of Stories - and a fantastic adventure begins.
|Author||: Yu Hua|
From the author of Brothers and China in Ten Words: this celebrated contemporary classic of Chinese literature was also adapted for film by Zhang Yimou. This searing novel, originally banned in China but later named one of that nation’s most influential books, portrays one man’s transformation from the spoiled son of a landlord to a kindhearted peasant. After squandering his family’s fortune in gambling dens and brothels, the young, deeply penitent Fugui settles down to do the honest work of a farmer. Forced by the Nationalist Army to leave behind his family, he witnesses the horrors and privations of the Civil War, only to return years later to face a string of hardships brought on by the ravages of the Cultural Revolution. Left with an ox as the companion of his final years, Fugui stands as a model of gritty authenticity, buoyed by his appreciation for life in this narrative of humbling power.
|Author||: Brigid Pasulka|
PEN/Hemingway Award Winner: A “gorgeous” novel weaving together stories of Poland past and present in one whimsically romantic epic (Chicago Tribune). On the eve of World War II, in a small Polish village, a young man nicknamed the Pigeon falls in love with a girl fabled for her angelic looks. To build a place in Anielica’s heart, he transforms her family’s modest hut into a beautiful home. But war arrives, cutting short their courtship and sending the young lovers off to the promise of a fresh start in Krakow. Nearly fifty years later, the couple’s granddaughter, Beata, repeats this journey, seeking a new life in the fairy-tale city of her grandmother’s stories. But instead of the rumored prosperity of the New Poland, she discovers a city full of frustrated youths, caught between its future and its past. Taken in by her tough-talking cousin, Irena, and her glamorous daughter, Magda, Beata struggles to find her own place in the world. But unexpected events—tragedies and miracles both—change lives and open eyes. “A whimsical debut,” (New York Times Book Review) A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True weaves together two remarkable stories, reimagining half a century of Polish history through the legacy of one unforgettable love affair. This magical, heartbreaking novel “rings hauntingly, enchantingly, real” (National Geographic Traveler). “With a touch of Marina Lewycka and a dash of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, this is storytelling that gets under your skin and forces you to press copies into your best friends’ hands.” —Elle (UK) “Funny and romantic like all the best true stories.” —Charlotte Mendelson, author of When We Were Bad