download eBook Mao's Last DancerAuthor Li Cunxin –

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 starsSimply told, with charm, humour and compassion and at times, 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 l, Li performs at the Houston Ballet school in the US, which leads to his dramatic defectionThis is a condensed edition, specially for younger readers, and has an Afterword especially for children

15 thoughts on “Mao's Last Dancer

  1. Joe Edge T Joe Edge T says:

    This book is a wonderful read Cunxin has so much determination, and inner strength that it is quite humbling The description of life in rural China in the 60s and 70s makes a memorable impression The rural poor, which was nearly everyone, lived a very small notch above starvation Their lives were dominated by hard, hard work with very little light relief Cunxin remains modest although his achievements are amazing There was a very strong family bond which persists throughout although he could only see his people once a year, for Chinese New Year.I cannot recommend this strongly enough.

  2. K Sheard K Sheard says:

    A great insight into China and how families were effected after the cultural revolution.It contains a lot of historical information in an interesting way.It is an emotional book, that takes you on a journey with the author.Really enjoyed this book and I couldn t put it down I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good read.

  3. Jo Willis Jo Willis says:

    For anyone with a love of dance and an interest in social history this is a must read It tells of the harsh conditions endured by millions in China during Mao s revolution, and of the determination to succeed of a young peasant boy and his eventual defection and success.

  4. Mrs. Susan Hill Mrs. Susan Hill says:

    This book was chosen to read by our book club I would not have chosen the book myself, but I was pleasantly surprised The story is about a boy born into a peasant s family in China where poverty, hard labour in the fields and starvation were the norm, and growing up under Mao s regime He is chosen from many thousands of school children to attend Madame Mao s ballet school at the age of eleven, where he eventually realises that this is his opportunity to be something other than a peasant farmer.I would definitely recommend this book.

  5. Mag Dane Mag Dane says:

    I bought it as a gift I read it years ago when it was first published Inspirational true story, though I realise that it will mostly be of interest to balletomanes.

  6. C Nicholson C Nicholson says:

    This book gave such an incredible insight to China under Mao and how it crushed the country this story is just about one who made it to the west, but keeping his love for China alive and bringing fame to ballet in China

  7. Cheeky Chops Cheeky Chops says:

    A beautifully honest and simply written account of a lucky yong boy, who succeeded beyond expectation due to his own, as well as imposed determination Historically relevant, this ought to be on the school curriculum One glaring omission, was the lack of mention of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre I think I know why he left that out Read the book and decide for yourself This is one that really should be made into a carefully treated movie a fringe movie perhaps Certainly nothing main stream style than the direction of Scumdog.

  8. Customer Customer says:

    A very moving autobiography, one of the best I have ever read An emotional journey with the author all the way through Couldn t put it down.

  9. Grandma Grandma says:

    A lovely book Have lent to many friends and they have all enjoyed it Unwitting evidence of the Cultural Revolution.


    I gave up half way as I found the voice difficult to engage with and discovered that my attention had wandered on than one occasion.

  11. Ann Brownless Ann Brownless says:

    A faiscinating story told with clarity and simplicity Unusually I read it in quite a short time because it was so interesting It had been recommended to me as a good read and I will certainly recommend it to others.

  12. Wombat Wombat says:

    I can t quite remember how or why I started reading the autobiography of a ballet dancer, but I am so glad that I did You don t need to know anything about dance to enjoy it I don t.Through Li Cunxin s easy to read, genuine and honest words you build a picture of his life, which has been truly amazing Born in rural China, then sent away from his family to the Beijing Dance Academy, his hard work and determination are inspirational Through well recounted stories and anecdotes, you really get a sense of what life was like, as well as an incredibly interesting insight into the Chinese cultural revolution His impressions of the USA when he first visits are so interesting to read Touching, fascinating, heartwarming, I ve read this book several times and recommended it to many people Now I recommend it to you

  13. Neuf Anges Neuf Anges says:

    Bought this book after seeing the film of his life on prime Loved it.

  14. Tricia Tricia says:

    An extremely well written book about the amazing life of a very brave person It gives some real insights into the way things were until recently in China There must be many people, myself included, who did not realise the suffering of the ordinary people in that country under the old regime Not to be missed we need to know these things.

  15. Mrs L M Sugden Mrs L M Sugden says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish The writer s voice is so engaging It is informative and interesting with a good balance of political, dance and family detail.