THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
The extraordinary memoir of a peasant boy raised in rural Maoist China who was plucked from his village to study ballet and went on to become one of the greatest dancers of his generation.
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. Two years later, through a series of events worthy of the most exciting cloak-and-dagger fiction, he defected to the United States, where he quickly became known as one of the greatest ballet dancers in the world. This is his story, told in his own inimitable voice.
THE BASIS FOR A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
Penguin Publishing Group; July 2010
- ISBN: 9781101458778
- Read online, or download in secure ePub format
- Title: Mao's Last Dancer (Movie Tie-In)
- Author: Li Cunxin
In The Press
“[A] fascinating memoir…told simply but passionately, with subtle humor and unguarded emotion.”—The Houston Chronicle
“Mix Billy Elliot with Torn Curtain and you’ll have some of the tale in very broad outline…well-paced…full of adventures.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Fascinating reading…unfolds with honesty, humor, and a quiet dignity. This book has wide appeal, for it concerns not only a dancer’s coming of age in a turbulent time but also individual strength, self-discovery, and the triumph of the human spirit.”—Library Journal
“The facts of his life are astonishing on their own, but what makes Li Cunxin’s engrossing autobiography so captivating is his enthusiastic retelling of every twist and turn.”—Vogue (Australia)
About The Author
Li Cunxin was born in a small village near the city of Qingdao, in northern China. At eighteen, he was selected to perform at the Houston Ballet, which led to a dramatic defection to the United States. He has performed as a soloist with the Houston Ballet and as a principal artist with the Australian Ballet.