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Book DetailsISBN: 9780670070541
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Book Review: Peasant Prince, by Li Cunxin - Reviewed by Romi Foster (24 Mar 2012)
I read this on a mild recommendation after reading Mao's Last Dancer- for Mao's last Dancer there is a adult version and a youth version. I was under the impression, from my recommendator, that this was a children's version, so reading it I was really surprised- to me that isn't the basis for this story at all and I couldn't really connect it to that throughout the story either. It definitely for me wasn't a winner or re-read worthy, I really like Mao's last Dancer so I'll stick to it, but maybe for younger children this is a good insight before they read the full novel.
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, Li's peasant life in Chairman Mao's communist China changed dramatically when, at the age of eleven, he was chosen by Madame Mao's cultural advisers to become a student at the Beijing Dance Academy. After a summer school in America, for which he was one of only two students chosen, he defected to the West and became a principal dancer for the Housten Ballet. Li went on to become one of the best male dancers in the world. He is now a senior manager in a major stockbroking firm and lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife Mary and their three children, Sophie, Tom and Bridie. Li's autobiography, Mao's Last Dancer has sold over 400,000 copies and has been published in over 20 countries. A children's version of the book was released in 2005.
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