Li Cunxin, from a desperately poor northern Chinese province, is chosen at age 11 from millions of children to attend Madame Mao's Beijing Dance Academy during the Cultural Revolution. Though very difficult, Li persists and his training pays off when he is chosen to travel to America to dance. Seizing his opportunity for freedom, he courageously defects. Eventually his parents, after years of separation, are allowed to visit America to see him dance. Told by Li, this offers a great insight into Chinese culture and an individual's determination. There's plenty of excitement, too.
Complete autobiography. 480 pp. Paperback.