Mao's Last Dancer Author:Cunxin Li An extraordinary memoir of a peasant boy raised in rural Maoist China who was plucked from his village to study ballet and went on to become one of the greatest dancers of his generation. — In 1961, three years of Mao's Great Leap Forward-along with three years of poor harvests-had left a rural China suffering terribly from disease and deprivatio... more »n. Li Cunxin, his parents' sixth son, lived in a small house with twenty of his relatives and, along with the rest of his family, subsisted for years on the verge of starvation. But when he was eleven years old, Madame Mao decided to revive the Peking Dance Academy, and sent her men into the countryside searching for children to attend.
Chosen on the basis of his physique alone, Li Cunxin was taken from his family and sent to the city for rigorous training. What follows is the story of how a small, terrified, lonely boy became one of the greatest ballet dancers in the world. One part Falling Leaves, one part Billy Eliot, Mao's Last Dancer is an unforgettable memoir of hope and courage.« less
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!