A photo of Ai Weiwei with his memoir, 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows, overlaid

In his widely anticipated memoir 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows, Ai Weiwei – one of the world’s most famous artists and activists – tells a century-long epic tale of China through the story of his own extraordinary life and the legacy of his father Ai Qing, the nation's most celebrated poet.

We are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a signed copy of 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows along with two tickets to see Ai Weiwei live on stage at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall at 7.30pm on 29th October 2021. The winner will also get an overnight stay at the wonderful Bloomsbury Hotel – part of the Doyle Collection.

Armchairs round the fireplace in the Sitting Room at the Bloomsbury Hotel

The Bloomsbury Hotel, The Doyle Collection

The prize includes:

1 signed hardback copy of 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows  by Ai Weiwei

1 copy of Selected Poems by Ai Qing

2 tickets to Ai Weiwei: 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows at Royal Festival Hall, 29th October 2021

1 double-room overnight stay on 29th October 2021 at The Bloomsbury Hotel

Up to £100 travel expenses

For your chance to win, enter your details below. Competition closes Sunday 17 October at 23.59 pm. UK only. 

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1) By entering this free prize draw, you agree to accept and be bound by these terms and conditions.  All entry instructions form part of the terms & conditions of this prize draw.

2) This free prize draw is open to anyone aged 18 or over who is a resident of the UK except for employees of The Random House Group Limited (promoter), Penguin Books Limited its subsidiary companies, their families and any other company connected with the prize draw.  

3) Entries must be received by Sunday 17 October May 2021 at 23:59 GMT. Entries that are illegible, incomplete, corrupted or which fail to be received by the closing date for any reason, will not be counted. The promoter is not responsible for entries delayed or lost in the post. Automatically generated entries or entries via agents or third parties are invalid and shall not be counted.

4) Only one entry per person. No entrant may win more than one prize.

5) To enter fill in your details on the online form above.  All correctly completed entries will be entered into a prize draw which will take place on Tuesday 19 October 2021.  The first entry drawn at random by an independent person will be the winner.

6) The prize for one winner is 1 x signed hardback of 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows by AI Weiwei, 1 x copy of Selected Poems by Ai Qing, 2 x tickets to Ai Weiwei: 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows at the Royal Festival Hall on 29 October 2021, and an overnight stay for two (to check-in on 29th October 2021) at The Bloomsbury Hotel of one double or one twin room and up to £100 travel expenses (prize) and must be taken before 27 October 2021. The winner is responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from the hotel and to and from the Royal Festival Hall. All dates for the stay at the Bloomsbury Hotel are subject to availability. In the event that you cannot make these dates, no alternative dates will be possible and the Promoter reserves the right to offer the prize to a substitute winner. The prize is non-transferrable and no cash alternative will be offered.

7) Prizes are subject to availability. In the event of unforeseen circumstances, or any change of circumstances relating to the Covid-19 pandemic assessed by the Promoter as adversely affecting fulfilment of the prize in any way, the Promoter reserves the right (a) to substitute alternative prizes as determined by the Promoter at its sole discretion provided that the total monetary value of any alternative prize(s) is equivalent to or greater than that of the original prize; and (b) in exceptional circumstances to amend or foreclose the promotion without notice. No correspondence will be entered into. 

8) The winner will be notified by within 5 days of the closing date (i.e. by 22 October 2021). The winner(s) must claim their prize within 5 days of the promoter sending notification. If the prize is unclaimed after this time, it will lapse and the promoter reserves the right to offer the unclaimed prize to a substitute winner selected in accordance with these rules.

9) Other than those specified above, the promoter shall not be liable for any costs or expenses arising out of or in any way connected with this prize and does not accept any responsibility for any damage, loss or disappointment suffered by the winner as result of accepting th

10) By entering this competition, all entrants consent to the use of their personal data by the Promoter for the purposes of running the competition as detailed in these terms and conditions.  Details on how we process the personal data of entrants can be found in our Privacy Policy ((http://penguin.co.uk/company/about-us/notices/privacy-policy/full-privacy-policy).

11) We will make the winner’s name and county available on request to the following email address rboscawen@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk please state the name of the competition in the subject heading 10 weeks after the closing date).  If you do not want your name and county to be made available in the event that you win, please let us know by emailing rboscawen@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk. Please note we are required to make the winner’s details available to the ASA if requested.   

12) Promoter may disqualify any entrant whose entry does not comply with these terms and conditions (in promoter’s sole opinion) or who, in promoter’s sole determination, has acted in a manner that is fraudulent, dishonest or unjust to other entrants including, without limitation, tampering with the operation of the competition, manipulating or rigging votes, hacking, deceiving, using multiple accounts to submit multiple entries. cheating or by harassing or threatening other entrants, the panel or a representative of promoter

13) The promoter’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into in relation to the competition.       

14) These terms and conditions are subject to English Law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

15) The promoter’s contact details are: The Random House Group Limited, 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road London SW1V 2SA. 

  • 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows

  • 'Engrossing... A remarkable story' Sunday Times

    'Above all a story of inherited resilience, strength of character and self-determination' Observer

    Chinese dissident. Ground-breaking artist. Global icon.

    Here, through the sweeping, extraordinary story of his own and his father's lives, Ai Weiwei tells an epic tale of China over the last 100 years.

    He recounts a childhood in exile in a desolate place known as 'Little Siberia', his move to America as a young man and eventual return home, then his rise from unknown to art-world superstar and international human rights activist - and how his work has been shaped by living under a totalitarian regime.

    1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows is a story of exceptional creativity and passionate political beliefs, and a timely reminder of the urgent need to protect freedom of expression.


    'Intimate, unflinching ... an instant classic' Evan Osnos, author of Age of Ambition

  • Buy the book

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