The Peasant Prince
Publication Date: 3 July 2017
'This is your one chance. You have your secret dreams. Follow them! Make them come true!'
A moving and inspirational story based on the author's life that delights the young and the old, again and again.
This true story of a poor Chinese peasant boy, who at the age of ten was plucked unsuspectingly from millions of others across the land to be trained as a ballet dancer, is a fairytale that has captivated children and adults alike. Li tells his story with disarming simplicity and charm, with humour and compassion, and here he speaks directly to the small child, his special audience.
He has a personal story to tell you, and he begins by introducing you to the land of his childhood, and to his beloved father, and to a small child who was once Li himself: he tells us of that boy growing up in hardship, yet with love and affection, as he shares with us the lives of his large family, the special stories in his life, the inspiring teachers, the experiences and moments he will never forget.
About the Author
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.