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Mao's Last Dancer: Library Edition download ebook

by Li Cunxin,Paul English

Mao's Last Dancer: Library Edition download ebook
Li Cunxin,Paul English
Bolinda Audio; Unabridged edition (July 30, 2005)
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Ethnic & National

Mao's Last Dancer is a Memoir written by Chinese-Australian author Li Cunxin and first published in 2003.

Mao's Last Dancer is a Memoir written by Chinese-Australian author Li Cunxin and first published in 2003. It recounts his journey from a young, impoverished village boy destined to labor in the fields of China to a world-famous professional dancer. The narrator of the memoir, who grew up in a destitute rural household in China, was selected by Chinese Communist Party to become a ballet dancer trainee in Madame Mao's Beijing Dance Academy when he was eleven.

Li Cunxin has written a remarkable book about his own remarkable journey. It is really about the nature of family love, courage, and obsession. Mao’s Last Dancer is told with simplicity, but Li’s style is deceptive. It takes skill to write simply, just as it takes years of backbreaking work to make ballet look elegant and effortless. The Sydney Morning Herald. His story will appeal to an audience beyond Sinophiles and ballet aficionados.

Plucked from the abject poverty of his large family by Mao's cultural warriors, Li is chosen to be a ballet dancer, primarily because he didn't scream when his tendons and ligaments were torn to test his flexibility.

Mao's Last Dancer book. I listened to it as an audiobook and enjoyed Paul English’s accents. Li Cunxin provides anecdotes from his childhood that characterizes Mao's philosophy

Mao's Last Dancer book. 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. 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 Li Cunxin narrates his story in a matter-of-fact fashion that comes off as incredibly naive or coolly detached.

At the age of eleven, Li Cunxin was one of the privileged few selected to serve in Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution by studying at the Beijing Dance Academy. Having known bitter poverty in his rural China home, ballet would be his family's best chance for a better future. From one hardship to another, Cunxin demonstrated perseverance and an appetite for success that led him to be chosen as one of the first two people to leave Mao's China and go to American to dance on a special cultural exchange.

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.

com Spring 2004 Breakout Book . AudioFile Earphones Award Winner, Oct/Nov 2004. This is the true story of how, by the thinnest thread of a chance, one moment in time changed the course of a small boy's life in ways that are beyond imagination. One day he would become a star: Mao's last dancer, and the darling of the West. Œ heartening rags-to-riches story€¥ €" Publisher's Weekly€ŒThe listener's interest never flags €¦ imbues the narrative with ingenuousness and enthusiasm.

Li Cunxin, Paul English, Anna Burley. One day he would dance with some of the greatest ballet companies of the world.

  • SiIеnt
At the beginning of the book, he writes it from a young child's perspective and as he grows older, you see him develop into a man. I could relate to his story since I was adopted from India. I cried when he finally returned to China because I, too, felt the same happiness and sadness. I traveled to China in 1982 and saw the poverty that these people lived in and even came upon a woman with bound feet. Li really goes into detail of the poverty his family faced on a daily bases under Mao's rule and how he brainwashed the younger generation to believe in his philosophy. The older generation weren't gullible but were forced to comply. I watched one of Li's videos on Youtube and from listening to him speak, you feel the humility in this man even though he is a successful dancer and business man.
  • Llanonte
This is the inspirational tale of a boy/man who trains as a dancer in China under Mao’s communist regime. Told in a straight-forward, unembellished style, it presents countless fascinating details of daily life and relationships that present a vivid picture of what the author experiences. The account is especially moving because it offers insight into the lovable character of people once considered enemies by the United States. Li’s peasant family endures brutal hardship, working long hours every day, suffering extremes of weather and lack of food, and yet they are quite resigned and able to enjoy each other and the good they have. Even the broader community seems to rejoice with Li’s successes rather than wallow in self-pity or envy. The story evokes sympathy for people who suffer under communism, but are also vulnerable to official propaganda, as we all are.
  • Vital Beast
I just finished this book, and picked it because I have visited China and had so many horrible and questionable things about when Mao was Chairman of China. This is a true story written by the main character, Li, a poor pheasant of a close family of 7 boys. It's amazing how poor the pheasants were during Mao's rule and what they did to survive. Very fortunately for Li, because of his body type, he was picked to go to the main Chinese ballet dance academy in Beijing at 11 years old. He was so young and homesick for two years, then really got into his dance with classes each day for 7 years. Li gets an opportunity to visit the Houston Ballet and sees how Americans are free and not the evil propaganda of the west that Chairman Mao brainwashed everyone in China to believe. Li falls in love in Houston, defects, divorces, remarries and has raises a family in Australia. He remains close to his big family and travels to China often and sees how China changes after Chairman Mao leaves office. The history involved in this book along with the juxtaposition of Li's personal life by this very good writer makes this for an amazing book! One I will always remember.
  • Xig
Mao's Last Dancer, the autobiography of Li Cunxin, is told in a simple, straightforward manner, principally because English is not the author's native language. This fact shouldn't deter anyone from reading this moving account of a Chinese peasant boy's rise to fame as a ballet dancer and subsequent defection to the West.

Plucked from the abject poverty of his large family by Mao's cultural warriors, Li is chosen to be a ballet dancer, primarily because he didn't scream when his tendons and ligaments were torn to test his flexibility. Although an unpromising student at first, he gradually improves and forms bonds with some of his teachers. Eventually he is allowed to travel to the United States and perform with the Houston Ballet. After returning home to China, he wangles a second visit to the States, becomes a star in the ballet company, secretly marries, and defects.

There are many enlightening details in Li's narrative--the harsh life and near starvation existence of his childhood; the constant barrage of communist propaganda that he's exposed to as he's growing up; the overwhelming contrast of teeming Bejing, where he is schooled, to the rural squalor of his beloved home; and his astonishment at the "truth" of the West, which exposes Mao's teachings for what they are--lies.

He feels guilty for abandoning his family and putting them at risk for retaliation by the Chinese government because of his defection. However, his parents, especially his mother, always wanted what was best for him--and that turned out to be escape. One could argue that the Chinese had trained him and given him the opportunity to achieve fame and fortune and that he responded with ingratitude. But he was always a pawn of the state, selected to perform in ballets long on propaganda and short on artistic merit.

I think that this story would make profitable reading for older children and teens as well as adults.
  • saafari
This is a wonderful book, Li Cunxin's struggle against impossible odds to go from a life of abject poverty to become a great ballet dancer. As a writer, Li has a great ability to portray and convey how a given experience feels, whether his life as a small boy, dance school in Beijing, his defection in Houston, his unsuccessful first marriage, his growth and success as a world class ballet dancer. My only criticism is that towards the end of his book Li's successes seem unending. He is not only a great dancer, but a perfect father, husband, stockbroker etc. But, given Li's drive and resilience, perhaps that was inevitable. In the end, it is a worthy book to read.