The young reader edition of the international bestseller now a major motion picture at the age of eleven li cunxin was one of the privileged few selected to serve in chairman maos cultural revolution by studying at the beijing dance academy. Maos last dancer the autobiography of li cunxin is told in a simple straightforward manner principally because english is not the authors native language this fact shouldnt deter anyone from reading this moving account of a chinese peasant boys rise to fame as a ballet dancer and subsequent defection to the west. Maos last dancer young readers edition by li cunxin biography memoir favourite one day not so very many years ago a small peasant boy was chosen to study ballet at the beijing dance academy his mother urged him to take this chance of a lifetime. Maos last dancer is an 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. About the author li cunxin was born in 1961 in the new village li commune near the city of qingdao on the coast of north east china the sixth of seven sons in a poor rural family lis peasant life in chairman maos communist china changed dramatically when at the age of eleven he was chosen by madame maos cultural advisers to become a student at the beijing dance academy
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