Archives for posts with tag: China


Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie is one of my favorite novels — it’s a book about the power of stories. Every time I see a copy at a thrift store, I buy it and give it to someone I think will enjoy the novel.

Here’s the blurb from the Amazon PageBalzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is an enchanting tale that captures the magic of reading and the wonder of romantic awakening. An immediate international bestseller, it tells the story of two hapless city boys exiled to a remote mountain village for re-education during China’s infamous Cultural Revolution. There the two friends meet the daughter of the local tailor and discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation. As they flirt with the seamstress and secretly devour these banned works, the two friends find transit from their grim surroundings to worlds they never imagined.

Note: A few days ago, I found a pristine-condition paperback copy of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress at a thrift store. With this post, I am initiating a new feature of the Silver Birch Press blog — the book giveaway. I will mail Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress to the first person (sorry, U.S. only — because of postage rates) who comments on this post (“Mail me the book.”). I will send a follow-up email for mailing information.


“I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.”


PAINTING: “Green Dog No. 10” by Zhou Chunya

Several years ago, I saw the above painting from Zhou Chunya’s Green Dog series at a Chicago art exhibition, and was awestruck by the huge canvas (18 feet wide by 23 feet high — no, that’s not a typo!). Most of the canvas was blank and the image of the dog appeared in the lower right. As I recall, this painting’s price was over $200,000. Thinking this was a typo, I asked the woman in charge of the booth the cost of the painting, and she confirmed the price. Since that time, I’ve learned more about Zhou’s Green Dog paintings and his touching relationship with his dog Hei Gen (Black Root), who died in 1999. Find out more about this fascinating artist and series of paintings here.