Mao's Last Dancer, Paperback


This is the true story of a poor Chinese peasant boy who, plucked unsuspectingly at the age of ten from millions of others across the land to be trained as a ballet dancer, turned the situation to his advantage to become one of the world's greatest ballet stars.

Simply told, with charm, humour and compassion and at times, this is a great drama.

His childhood, despite the terrible hardships, is drawn with love and affection and contrasts starkly with the seven lonely years of gruelling training at the Peking Dance Academy.

At the age of l8, Li performs at the Houston Ballet school in the US, which leads to his dramatic defection.

This is a condensed edition, specially for younger readers, and has an Afterword especially for children.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages, illustrations
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: True stories
  • ISBN: 9780141320861



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