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Reviews

  • With uncommon humanity, humbling scholarship, and poignant intimacy, Ai Weiwei recounts a life of courage, argument, defeat, and triumph. He conjures the disparate phases and realities of China and explains how this country, which seems so changed from the outside, is consistent within. He is passionately committed to the cause of freedom and accountability, and though he is sometimes self-mocking and often witty, he has written a majestic and exquisitely serious masterpiece about his China, which is in fact a book about our world. His is one of the great voices of our time

    Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity and Far and Away: How Travel Can Change the World
  • Ai Weiwei is one of the world's greatest living artists.He is a master of multiple media. His work is always thought-provoking, unpredictable and immensely personal

    Elton John, author of Me: Elton John Official Autobiography
  • Ai Weiwei's 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows is an eloquent chronicleof the artist's own tumultuous life-including his arrest and detention in 2011 by Chinese authorities-and that of his father, the eminent poet Ai Qing, who was banished to a remote labor camp during Mao's Cultural Revolution; and a heartfelt letter to his young son, Ai Lao, explaining his convictions as an artist, activist and witness to history. At the same time, the book provides a clear-eyed picture-reminiscent, by turns, of Kafka and Solzhenitsyn-of several decades of Chinese history and the terrible costs of authoritarian rule. Like the author's brilliant installations and films, the book is an impassioned testament to the enduring powers of art-to challenge the state and the status quo, to affirm essential and inconvenient truths, and to assert the indispensable agency of imagination and will in the face of political repression

    Michiko Kakutani, author of Ex Libris: 100+ Books to Read and Reread
  • Ai Weiwei's intimate, unflinching memoir is an instant classic in the literature of China's rise, a protest against the destruction of memory, and a glorious testament to the power of free expression. For years, his art and activism has warned the world about autocracy. Now his prose lays bare a family's searing experience, with haunting clarity. This book says as much about the future as it does about the past

    Evan Osnos, author of Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, True, and Faith in New China
  • 1000 years of joys and sorrows are here concentrated into a mere 100. They are years that teem with life of a startling variety. The presentation is artful and the translation exquisite

    Perry Link, author of An Anatomy of Chinese: Rhythm, Metaphor, Politics
  • The most important artist working today

    Financial Times
  • An eloquent and unsilenceable voice of freedom

    New York Times
  • Ai Weiwei is the kind of visionary any nation should be proud to count among its creative class. He has drawn the world's attention to the vibrancy of contemporary Chinese culture

    Time Magazine

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