Very interesting story of Chinese ballet dancer who grew up under the Gang of Four regime; he was sent at eleven to Beijing to study ballet and the details of his home life in a rural village, and his adjustment to the ballet school, and later to the Western world, are pretty fascinating. I enjoyed this book very much.
One of my all-time favorite books, along with the movie. A rare situation where I actually enjoyed the movie before the book. Knowing the story does not take away from the book at all. Amazing, true story, one that I recommend to anyone who ask!
We are able to understand in detail about how life was for Li Cunxin during the 1960s and 1970s (and even the 1940s when he describes his parents' wedding). He lived as a peasant boy in a small village. He tells detailed and sad accounts (and many happy and funny things as well) about the upbringing he had along with his six brothers. He then talks about how he was chosen as a dancer for Madame Mao's artistic program when he was 11 years old. From there we learn about how he grew, the people he respected, the things he struggled with, and his eventual time in America. There is a lot more but I don't want to give it away. I saw the movie before I read the book, but this book has so much more detailed and interesting stories and understanding of the people who were in his life! It was great. I can't believe I finished this nearly 500 paged book as quickly as I did, but I wanted to know more and more. The end of this book is an update from when his book was originally published. If you love biographies, I highly recommend this book.