Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mao's Last Dancer

Title: Mao's Last Dancer (Young Reader's Edition)
Author: Li Cunxin
Year of Publication: 2003
Genre: Autobiography
My Rating: 4 out of 5

This autobiography follows the life of internationally reknowned ballet dancer Li Cunxin. His tale begins from his parents marriage and his childhood of living in squalor and poverty in rural China. Under Mao Zhedong's Communist rule, life was harsh.
The second part of the book begings after Li was selected for Madame Mao's Ballet Academy, Li Cunxin trained there for seven years. he describes each year with the hardships he faced and his wonderful achievements.
The third and final part of the book details Li's escape to the West after discovering freedom of all sorts when he was in America on a ballet scholarship, and his life with Mary McKendry, a fellow ballet dancer whom he married.

Overall, a nice book to learn about China, its customs, ballet and just to read about someone else in general.

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