Who is Li Cunxin
Li Cunxin (pronounced “Lee Schwin Sing”) is a remarkable man borne of a remarkable story. He has published a remarkable book about his extraordinary life. In his runaway best selling autobiography, Mao' s Last Dancer, Li recounts his determination, perseverance, vision, courage and hard work, and in particular, the sacred family values and integrity that he learned in poverty-stricken China, which has driven him to become one of the best dancers in the world. He tells of how the sixth of seven sons born to peasants grew up worshipping Mao Zedong before defecting to the United States.
Li was born into bitter poverty in rural Qingdao, China. Certain years the peasants in his village even ate tree barks to survive. Despite the harsh reality of life, his childhood was full of love. The love of his parents gave him hope and courage.
The Peasant Prince
The picture book tells the story through the use of two vivid images, one of a boy tying his wishes to a kite and the other of a frog living in a “deep dark well” and longing to see the world above. The magic of Spudvilas’ tender brush paintings brings those images and Li’s story alive for young children.
Mao's Last Dancer
Mao’s Last Dancer is the autobiography of Li Cunxin. It tells his gripping tale of growing up in a poor family of six boys. At age eleven Li Cunxin was plucked from school by visiting officials to attend ballet school in Beijing; far away from his close knit family.