Mao's Last Dancer

Mao’s Last Dancer

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780425240304
  • 528 Pages
  • Berkley
  • Adult


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.

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Mao's Last Dancer

Mao’s Last Dancer

Li Cunxin


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Table of Contents

Mao’s Last DancerA Wedding: Qingdao, 1946

Part One: My Childhood

1. Home
2. My Niang and Dia
3. A Commune Childhood
4. The Seven of Us
5. Na-na
6. Chairman Mao’s Classroom
7. Leaving Home

Part Two: Beijing

8. Feather in a Whirlwind
9. The Caged Bird
10. That First Lonely Year
11. The Pen
12. My Own Voice
13. Teacher Xiao’s Words
14. Turning Points
15. The Mango
16. Change
17. On the Way to the West
18. The Filthy Capitalist America
19. Good-bye, China

Part Three: The West

20. Return to the Land of Freedom
21. Elizabeth
22. Defection
23. My New Life
24. A Millet Dream Come True
25. No More Nightmares
26. Russia
27. Mary
28. Going Home
29. Back in My Village
30. Another Wedding: Qingdao, 1988

The Li Family Tree

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