Comment: Li Cunxin (Li is his family name, Cunxin his given name, Cunxin is pronouced
'twin-sing') was born and raised in extreme poverty in rural China during
the height of the cultural revolution. The first 150 fascinating
pages tell about the first decade of his life in a rural village
where dried yams were the staple diet and starvation was always
close at hand. Then one day in 1972 a group arrived from Beijing and
literally plucked him from his classroom to be tested for Madame
Mao's Beijing Dance Academy. He had never danced and knew nothing of
the ballet but saw that this was his opportunity to escape from the
poverty of the village and thus endured the extraordinarily painful
testing process and was ultimately selected for the
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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