Mao's Last Dancer - Li Cunxin, Paul English

You have got to read this book!!! All of you! And you have to see the movie, too.


I broke my own rule with this book. Either I will see the movie or I will read the book but not both. But, after seeing the movie--with my mother, who said, "You have got to see this movie,"--I grabbed the book off her shelf because the audio was not available at that time. In fact, the audio has come and gone from the Audible shelves over the past few years because of "rights." So, when it showed up as today's Daily Deal, you know that it took me less than half a second to decide to buy it. The movie shows what the book tells but until you read the book, you don't really understand what the movie is trying to tell you, you don't understand the significance of all the details that are flashing across the screen.


This is not just the story of some ballet dancer whose name you might not recognize unless you are from Houston or maybe even Australia, where I believe he lives now. This is also the story of China under Mao as illustrated by the description of one man's childhood.


For the record, Li is his surname and Cunxin (pronounced Shwin-Sin) is his given name.