1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows

1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows

The story of two lives, one nation, and a century of art under tyranny

Summary

'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.

*A GUARDIAN AND OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR 2021*

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

Reviews

  • Intimate, unflinching ... an instant classic ... a glorious testament to the power of free expression
    Evan Osnos, author of Age of Ambition

About the author

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei is one of the world's most important living artists. Born in 1957, he lives in Cambridge, UK.

Allan H. Barr is the author of a study in Chinese of a literary inquisition in the early Qing dynasty, Jiangnan yijie: Qing ren bixia de Zhuangshi shi'an, and the translator of several books by contemporary Chinese authors, including Yu Hua's China in Ten Words and Han Han's This Generation. He teaches Chinese at Pomona College in California.
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