A Little Gem of a Book That Glitters Brightly

by Rachel Baker on July 18, 2014

This is a wonderful review of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie and translated by Ina Rilke.

The review is written by Suzanne Donahue for Off the Shelf. Suzanne is an Associate Publisher at Simon and Schuster.

When I recently bought a new copy of Balzac and The Little Chinese Seamstress so I could write a review, it was because I had remembered loving the story when it was first published in 2001 and wanted people to “discover” it again. I thought this slim novel had been one of those books that found early hardcover success—it was an international and New York Times bestseller—but over time had lost its audience and disappeared. So you can guess how thrilled I was to find that it is in its thirty-eighth paperback printing and that a world of readers has found this book and loved it too. Still, you may never have read it so I am writing this review for you. When people say to you, “this is a little gem of a book,” this is the kind of book they are talking about. But make no mistake—this isn’t a diamond-you-need-to-see-with-a-magnifying-glass kind of “little gem,” this is a five-carat emerald-cut diamond of beautiful writing and storytelling.

A Little Gem of a Book That Glitters Brightly

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