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23 August 2001
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress 
by Dai Sijie, translated by Ina Rilke.
Chatto, 208 pp., £10, June 2001, 0 7011 6982 6
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The Drink and Dream Teahouse 
by Justin Hill.
Weidenfeld, 344 pp., £12.99, March 2001, 0 297 64697 4
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... most, and this may explain why they went to such lengths to suppress non-aligned literature in China. From the early 1960s until the mid-1980s almost all Western books were prohibited and the printing presses clattered away producing agitprop: multi-volume hagiographies of Enver Hoxha and Stalin, tendentious political parables and the fiction of pre-1949 ...

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