Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin


Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin

This is the true story of a poor Chinese peasant boy who, plucked unsuspectingly at the age of ten from millions of others across the land to be trained as a ballet dancer, turned the situation to his advantage to become one of the world's greatest ballet stars. Simply told, with charm, humour and compassion and at times, this is a great drama. His childhood, despite the terrible hardships, is drawn with love and affection and contrasts starkly with the seven lonely years of gruelling training at the Peking Dance Academy. At the age of l8, Li performs at the Houston Ballet school in the US, which leads to his dramatic defection. This is a condensed edition, specially for younger readers, and has an Afterword especially for children.

About the Author

Li Cunxin was born in 1961, in the New Village, Li Commune, near the city of Qingdao on the coast of north-east China. The sixth of seven sons in a poor rural family, Li's peasant life in Chairman Mao's communist China changed dramatically when, at the age of eleven, he was chosen by Madame Mao's cultural advisers to become a student at the Beijing Dance Academy. After a summer school in America, for which he was one of only two students chosen, he defected to the West and became a principal dancer for the Housten Ballet. Li went on to become one of the best male dancers in the world. He is now a senior manager in a major stockbroking firm and lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife Mary and their three children, Sophie, Tom and Bridie. Li's autobiography, Mao's Last Dancer has sold over 400,000 copies and has been published in over 20 countries. A children's version of the book was released in 2005.

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Book Info


352 pages
Interest Age: From 10


Li Cunxin
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Publication date

6th July 2006



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