Li Cunxin grew up in a remote commune village in China. His life was one of daily hardships – there was never enough food for him or his six brothers and his only entertainment, especially during the harsh winters, was being told Chinese fables by his father. His life seemed mapped out – he was “the frog at the bottom of the well” who would have to be content with being able to see only a small patch of sky. Then in 1971, at the age of 10, Li was chosen to train as a ballet dancer at Madam Mao’s Peking Dance Academy. His selection was based purely on his physique and the fact that he came from a family that had been peasants for three generations – he knew nothing about the art form at all. After seven gruelling years of training, with grim determination and the encouragement of his teachers, Li danced through his pain to become a talented performer who won a rare scholarship to America. It was this experience that lead Li, a fervent follower of Mao and Chinese Communist ideals, to discover the truth behind Chinese propaganda. In 1981 he famously defected, certain that in doing so he would never see his family or his homeland again. Through dance, a poor Chinese peasant child found a new life in America – the frog had escaped the well and could marvel at the expanse of sky.
Archive for the ‘Non fictitious’ Category
Three girls, Molly, Gracie and Daisy, are “half-caste” Aboriginal youngsters living together with their family of the Mardu people at Jigalong, Western Australia.
One day a constable, a “Protector” in the sense of the Act, comes to take the three girls with him. They are placed in the Moore River Native Settlement north of Perth, some 1,600 kilometres away. Most children this was done to never saw their parents again. Thousands are still trying to find them.
This story is different. The three girls manage to escape from the torturing and authoritarian rule of the settlement’s head. Guided by the rabbit-proof fence, which, at that time ran from north to south through Western Australia,they walk the long distance back to their family.
In Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night, a scholarly, pious teenager is wracked with guilt at having survived the horror of the Holocaust and the genocidal campaign that consumed his family. His memories of the nightmare world of the death camps present him with an intolerable question: how can the God in whom he once so fervently believed have allowed these monstrous events to occur? There are no easy answers in this harrowing book, which probes life’s essential riddles with the lucid anguish only great literature achieves. It marks the crucial first step in Wiesel’s lifelong project to bear witness for those who died.