Read Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin Online


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 stars.Simply 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 l8, Li performs at the Houston Ballet school in the US, which leads to his dramatic defection.This is a condensed edition, specially for younger readers, and has an Afterword especially for children....

Title : Mao's Last Dancer
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780141320861
ISBN13 : 978-0141320861
Format Type : E-Book
Language : Englisch
Publisher : Puffin 6 Juli 2006
Number of Pages : 352 Seiten
File Size : 966 KB
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Mao's Last Dancer Reviews

  • Lang Ursula
    2019-07-07 23:55

    Der erste Teil des Buchs schildert Cunxin's Kindheit in einem chinesischen Dorf unter Mao's Regime.Der Bruch erfolgt, als er von Frau Mao's Talentsuchern aus seinem Dorf herausgerissen und nach Beijing in die straff organanisierte und linientreue Balletakademie gebracht wird.Als er die Chance erhält, als Austauschstudent nach Houston zu gehen, überwältigen ihn die Möglichkeiten, die Amerika bietet.Li Cunxin schildert seinen Werdegang als Tänzer, den er zuerst unter Druck nur widerwillig und später mit ganzer Passion verfolgt.Ein berührendes Buch und absolut lesenwert

  • Dietrich Wagener
    2019-06-30 04:10

    Es gibt einen guten Einblick in das einfache Leben im damaligen China.Sehr unterhaltsam geschrieben, mit viel Humor.Ein wunderbarer Mensch .. der Schriftsteller. Sehr lehrreich.

  • Anne Siegmund
    2019-07-03 21:10

    Ich war vor zwei Jahren in China, aber damals ist das Land sehr fremd geblieben. Mit dem Lesen des Buches hatte ich das erste Mal das Gefühl, dass ich beginne ein kleines bisschen mehr von der Kultur dort zu verstehen. Wie viel familiäre Verbundenheit sich jenseits der kühlen Gesten finden lässt. Mich hat es sehr bewegt, wie er die Armut und den Hunger in seiner Kindheit beschreibt. Die Einsamkeit in den jungen Jahren als er von seiner Familie getrennt wurde, um tanzen zu lernen. Und wie sich der Unwille zu tanzen in Liebe verwandelt hat. Die Ehrlichkeit, mit der er das maoistische Regime beschreibt und sein erstes Weihnachten im Westen haben mich sehr berührt.Das erste Mal habe ich mir das Buch gekauft, als ich in Australien gelebt habe, ein zweites Mal habe ich es mir hier in Deutschland gekauft, weil ich es beim Umzug nicht mitnehmen konnte, es mir aber sehr viel bedeutet. Ein absolut lesenswertes Buch. Sehr persönlich geschrieben.

  • Jesionek
    2019-07-16 20:08

    Ein kleiner Bauernjunge der zum Schluss ein Weltstar wird.. .Das klingt wie Hollywood doch für Li Cunxin wurde es wahr. Er beschreibt in diesem sehr beeindruckendem Buch sein Leben unter der harten Führung Mao's. Penibel wird jede Kleinigkeit beschrieben, sodass man sich sehr gut in das Leben des Jungen hineinversetzen kann. Dazu benutzt er klares sauberes Englisch das jeder nach ein paar Jahren Schulenglisch verstehen kann. Alles in allem ein super Buch das jedem gefallen wird der sich für Englisch aber auch Geschichte interessiert.

  • Shallini
    2019-07-21 01:00

    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.

  • Adrienne
    2019-07-21 22:59

    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.

  • California gal
    2019-07-13 00:58

    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.

  • George C. King
    2019-07-05 02:17

    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.

  • Kindle Customer
    2019-07-05 04:09

    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.