THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER The 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.From a desperately poor village in northeast China, at age eleven, Li Cunxin was chosen by Madame Mao s cultural delegates to be taken from his rural home andTHE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER The 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.From a desperately poor village in northeast China, at age eleven, Li Cunxin was chosen by Madame Mao s cultural delegates to be taken from his rural home and brought to Beijing, where he would study ballet In 1979, the young dancer arrived in Texas as part of a cultural exchange, only to fall in love with America and with an American woman Two years later, through a series of events worthy of the most exciting cloak and dagger fiction, he defected to the United States, where he quickly became known as one of the greatest ballet dancers in the world This is his story, told in his own inimitable voiceE BASIS FOR A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
Mao s Last Dancer THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER The 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 o
I didn t love, love, love this book, but I found it interesting and inspiring Three stars I felt much of it read as a young adult book I in fact stopped my reading to go and check if it was directed toward kids What do I find I see that there are two editions, this one, which is for adults, and another one just for kids Mao s Last Dancer Young Readers Edition I have looked into how they differ and have discovered that the children s has less details and less historical facts The author writes in [...]
It was ok There were interesting parts and humorous parts, but a bit too meandering for my taste Some of it was repetitive as the author seemed to really want to get certain points across.
I read this book a long time before joining and writing reviews, so I didn t add anything here except my rating.I do remember that I enjoyed if you can enjoy such reading about the cultural demands that were placed on those people He truly was a brave young man I love historical and cultural books about Asia and Asian people.
Fact I m actually North Korean My parents lived most of their lives in the South, but both of them originally hail from the North.When we were kids, my dad would occasionally gather us all round the table and tell us tales of North Korea He would tell us about how his family struggled to survive during the war, and how Communism had ruined the country so that everyone was poor Families only got a small ration of beef every year, that they would boil over and over again in order to make it last H [...]
I started off unimpressed by this book daily life in China during the Mao years is sad, yes, but familiar to anyone who has read anything set in that era However once he was plucked away from his family and started his education proper the book really began Li as an author found his voice around this part of the book and it was around this time that I decided to continue reading I had been toying with the idea of giving up His struggles at school are familiar, but I m not sure if Li examines har [...]
Li Cunxin was the 6th of 7 sons born to a poor family in rural China When Chairman and Madame Mao started their cultural revolution and decided to revive the Peking Dance Academy, they sent representatives throughout the country to find promising musical and artistic talent specifically from the children of peasants, workers, and soldiers Li was chosen at age 11, taken from his family, and sent to the big city for rigorous training and indoctrination He overcomes homesickness, lack of motivation [...]
November book group choice Loved the film Vicky recommended the book Many reasons to really like this book It s a remarkable story of an admirable life in unusual circumstances There is a continuity of influences, the foundation of his parents and family as well as influential teachers and friends, the Chinese fables that encouraged him in very hard times the mango and the well Many keeper scenes quotes Mango is the most wonderful fruit with the most unique taste Admire the unique shape, notice [...]
I really enjoyed this I listened to it as an audiobook and enjoyed Paul English s accents It still astounds me to read about people living in communist states who have nothing but think they are living in better conditions than the rest of the world It s amazing to think of the work that goes into brainwashing the people.It s sobering to think of how hard life was for Li Cunxin and the rest of his family in his early years I enjoyed reading the wedding customs of his mother and father things tha [...]
This is such a beautifully written memoir It s not so much the language that is beautiful, but the content and the emotion captured in the words The author details the hardships of his childhood and the life of his parents and his brothers in Communist China It s such a stark contrast to the life he ends up living in the West and I so enjoyed reading about all the vast differences he found between the two countries and cultures.The writing about China during that period was certainly interesting [...]
Wow, this was such an amazing read It inspired me so much It was the perfect mixture between ballet and history I would highly recommend it
Maos Last Dancer was a mix of emotions for me While I thoroughly enjoyed the story that was being told, the execution and the progression of the plot didn t work for me The beginning dragged on and on, and the ending seemed impossibly far away I really want to stress that the story was fantastic though I had no idea the level of unimaginable poverty that Cunxin suffered from Call me na ve, call me whatever but the movie which I ve seen multiple times doesn t even begin to skim the surface of wha [...]
Li Cunxin overcomes life s challenges and through sheer discipline, drive and the motivation to break through the shackles of communism, does just that Born in a commune in northeast China, Li s impoverished family struggled to put food on the table, making sacrifices for each other as the bare essentials for basic living were virtually nonexistent Despite the challenging conditions of everyday life, his parents taught him the values and principles that became his life compass as he overcame the [...]
I read this book in a little under 24 hours, almost unable to put it down In this memoir, Li writes of an impoverished childhood in rural China in the 60 s and 70 s under the Mao Zedong regime He deals frankly with his everyday realities disease, starvation, accidental injury and the lack of basic survival needs intertwined with unconditional love, laughter and the incredibly strong value system of a proud family He writes of being snatched from this world to the only slightly less brutal world [...]
A friend had seen the film and recommended it so I watched the DVD first and highly recommend it both for the dramatic story and the beautiful dancing Li Cunxin is played in the movie by a dancer I liked it so much I went to the library and got book I am a ballet fan and I am embarrassed to say that I had not heard of Li Cunxin, although he performed with the Houston Ballet for 16 years and made guest appearances with most of the major ballet companies There are elegantly written memoirs, but t [...]
What an inspirational and touching book My heart soared and I shed some tears of happiness about Li Cunxin s story, a peasant boy who lived in poverty during Chairman Mao s rule With hard work, determination and perseverance, he goes on to achieve his wildest dreams as one of the greatest ballet dancers of all time.Full review on Happy Indulgence Books.
A simple and yet beautiful memoir of a ballet dancer, who was taken from his peasant classed family as a young 11 year old boy in Qingdao, and brought to Beijing, to attend a dance school that received the patronage of Madam Mao Tze Dong.Cunxin takes us through his childhood, growing up as one of 7 sons of poor peasant family during China s Cultural Revolution They are all subjected to Mao s communist propaganda, believing China to be a glorious nation and that despite the fact that they are poo [...]
Li Cunxin narrates his story in a matter of fact fashion that comes off as incredibly naive or coolly detached His childhood narrative is expected since its set in Mao era Poor people become poorer or just manage to get through the day while the propaganda machine churns faster and makes lives of these peasants volatile Li Cunxin provides anecdotes from his childhood that characterizes Mao s philosophy His young mind tries to find parallels between the folktales he is told as a child and implica [...]
Hooks you right in with the description of his parent s traditional wedding in China This is a true story of a real person who is still alive and riveted me because he was growing up when I was and living this amazingly different life over there in China That s the China of Finish your dinner Think of all the starving children in China So it was really insightful for me to listen to a true account of what it was like for this starving child of China The way Cunxin uses drive and discipline to es [...]
This is not the type of book I normally pick up, but after reading the first through chapters through my email book club, I requested it from the library Tim thought it was an unusual choice for me so he picked it up and started reading the middle of the book, as he is wont to do He told me I would like it and find it fascinating I already suspected that This book was pretty hard to put down, and I could only think of two pages that were boring and they were summarizing what happened over a long [...]
Finished Mao s Last Dancer today I saw the movie first and I found the book just as fascinating The dept of poverty that Li came from and his luck to be chosen and became a dancer meant the stars were lined up for his success in the world I now see how the Chinese are the best in gymnastics and other events they train for The dedication that Li gave to dancing when he realized it was his way out of poverty, and the continued level of training he gave to dance after his defection to the states al [...]
It was an interesting book I knew so little about Chinese culture when I read this book The author told his life story through vivid detail imagery starting with his parents wedding, the birth of his brothers and himself, poverty, government, and traditions His love for ballet is evident on every page.
I got this book from a friend when he brought it back to me from Australia My friend was leading a trading workshop, and this author was in his course The book was sooooooooo good I never saw the movie Has anyone You, Susan
Mao s Last Dancer was our last bookclub read, and apparently I have been living under a rock, since I had not heard of the book OR the movie Since a lot of my reading is escapist and a means to disengage from real life problems, I seldom delve into autobiographies and am finding that I may be missing out Li Cunxin s account of his life, from a childhood in rural, poverty stricken China to his rise to fame, was interesting, humbling and inspiring in equal measures It certainly provided a lot of m [...]
Such an inspiring non fiction book He fights through many barriers until at last he succeeds what he wants I really admire how he doesn t stop what his doing, and continue to try many new ways to succeed what he wants Nothing is impossible I think he gets today also a great thank to his inspirational teachers as well like Teacher Xiao, he taught him so many things, and indirectly taught me too He is somehow similar to me when he first arrives to the Ballet Dance Academy, he could not cope well w [...]
When I lived in Houston I loved going to see their world class ballet company perform, and Li Cunxin was one of my favorite dancers, so I was eager to read his autobiograghy The book that I received from was the Young Reader s Edition and obviously simplified and shortened by about half from the original 480 pages But it held my interest throughout, and I would love to read the adult version.
I m just putting this down for now because I left it at home for the summert because I don t love it
What a wonderful book I cannot believe what some people endure I just learned this was made into a movie and I look forward to seeing the adaptation Very well written.
Most boring book ever.
Li Cunxin was born in a remote province of China at a time when Mao was in his final years of power and the Cultural Revolution was in full flower Li gives devastating descriptions of peasant life during that time He, his parents, and six brothers lived in a single room concrete building without electricity or running water and a hole for a toilet They struggled for food daily, and yet tried to keep the basic traditions of Chinese life, including honoring ancestors, celebrating the lunar new yea [...]
Livre tr s int ressant qui nous plonge dans la Chine de Mao et l art de la danse la chinoise de l poque.