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Mao's Last Dancer

by Li Cunxin

Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin X
Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2004, 444 pages

    Paperback:
    Mar 2005, 480 pages

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There are currently 28 reader reviews for Mao's Last Dancer
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shene

mao's last dancer
this is a great book that got me hooked on the first page. i do ballet myself and this book has inspired me to have the dream of becoming a ballerina.he has showen me that it can be done. eveen though u may not no anything about ballet you would still understand it. ithink he is a very kucky person from where he has came from.
Sophie

Mao's Last Dancer
Reading this book is a life-changing experience. I was first drawn to this book because I do ballet however I don't know much about China and it's history. Li's life should inspire everyone to have dreams and then reach them. He shows us that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and are motivated. Li's my new Hero!
Robin

While taking the moving book the Mao's Last Dancer, the individual struggling life of Li impressed me more than his dancer's life and defection.
We can't deny everyone has the fate including Li - from a remote countryside to a dance school in Beijing, from Beijing to Huston in America, from a peasant boy to a renowned dancer. Every changes of his life is inconceivable. Li's fate is fortunate in the misfortune. It is his misfortune that he live in an age with little food and liberty. To most Chinese people that was an epoch with no hope. But as he and his teacher thought, he was lucky. He was in the rate of one to millions to be chosen to a dancer. And how he was chosen is so accidental. As his memory, it was at the second when the visitors was leaving that the teacher of Li pointed at Li 'why don't you try him as well?' Many years later, when Li asked that teacher why she point him out, the teacher said she really don't know- 'I think the only reason was that he ran fast.' I think the only explanation is destiny.
Fate is word can explain everything. What affects me most is his struggle in the every step of his life. Sometimes the struggle is unconscious, sometimes it is conscious. Before the transition to the dance school in Beijing, he was told to keep honesty and dignity by his parents although his family is in the severe poverty. Once he played with a friend with a lovely toy, he take it away when the boyfriend is careless of the toy. Li's mother took Li to the friend's home and returned the toy. What his mother doing and criticizing make him know what his doing is great humiliating to him and his family. His mother taught him to be honesty, while his father taught him dignity. Li hold the family's dignity to school and to his the future dance life. Another things always haunt in the mind of his family on the verge of starvation. The wish to make his family better always stimulated him study and work harder.
Anonymous

I am a Chinese, born in Hong Kong and migrated to Sydney at the age of 6. Reading this book was an amazing experience, both enriching my understanding of my own heritage and culture, but as a pure source of inspiration. Although I do not do ballet, this was still an absolutely beautiful book. You could really feel the determination and courage that Li developed as well as the pain, fears and seemingly daring dreams - a true inspiration and motivation to strive and work to achieve goals and ambitions. He showed me that anything is possible as long as you have the heart and persistence. I particularly liked that fact that it was not drenched in seemingly sophisticated language, (as many authors attempt to do in order to present themselves as being intelligent and educated). Rather, through its simplistic but beautiful description and language, you are able to more thorougly understand his life as he leads you through a journey of his triumphs and sadness.

It is also a wonderful first hand account for those studying China during the Cultural Revolution and the effects that it had upon ordinary Chinese.
John Smith

An excellent book with insights into the poverty of the Chinese, communism and the relations between and the U.S.. This amazing piece of literature forces developed countries to realise how lucky they really are. It makes them realise that sometimes they take things for granted. I recommend this book for anyone looking for a good read.
aaalll

enchanting and captivated!!!
Franca McCabe

I read this book whilst on holidays and found that I couldn't put it down. I read it in less than five days. I knew nothing of the author or ballet but the concept of the book appealed to me and I wasn't disappointed. I grew up in the same era as Cunxin in Australia and had a very different upbringing but I was still able to relate to his story. I will be reading the book again more slowly this time to enjoy his story once again.
Sabrina

I love this book, I am chinese and my parents were a little better off, but they told me of the same hardships that their parents went through. Also Li mentioned a lot about MAO and he brainwashed a lot of people during that time. That is why certain people see different things from MAO's ERA
My father lived buring the MAO era and he has to pretend he agreed with MAO's teaching, if he didn't he would be sent to jail.

In the end, this book is very sentimental and very TRUE. I hope younger Asians (like myself) who forget their hertiage should read this book and understand what thir parents had to do to come to US and the scrafices they made

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