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Review

“[This memoir] is both intimate and expansive, an interrogation of art and freedom. . . . It’s a fascinating sociopolitical history, and a behind-the-scenes look at how one of the world’s most significant living artists became who he is.”Time

1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows can be seen as another act of defiance. . . . The book [is Ai Weiwei’s] effort to reclaim his country’s and his family’s dramatic past.”The Wall Street Journal Magazine

“Illuminating . . .a document of conviction and activism . . . a clear-eyed account of two artists working against convention, buffeted by the whims of absurdist politics.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Poignant . . . An illuminating through-line emerges in the many parallels Ai traces between his life and his father’s. . . . Ai does not allow his own scraps to remain buried. To unearth them is an act of unburdening, an open letter to progeny, a suturing of past and present. It is the refusal to be a pawn—and the most potent assertion of a self.”The New York Times Book Review

“This memoir is a remarkable book—and an important one. . . . 1000 Years is a breathtaking self-examination of a brave artist.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“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

“With uncommon humanity, humbling scholarship, and poignant intimacy, Ai Weiwei recounts a life of courage, argument, defeat, and triumph. 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

“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

“This is the rarest sort of memoir, rising above the arc of history to grasp at the limits of the soul.”—Edward Snowden, author of Permanent Record

“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.”—Evan Osnos, author of Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China

“One thousand years of joys and sorrows are here concentrated into a mere one hundred. 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

“Revelatory and moving . . . ”Booklist (starred review)

“Engrossing . . . Highly recommended.”Library Journal (starred review)

“Fluid, heartfelt . . .”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


About the Author

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 江南一劫:清人笔下的庄氏史案, 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. (Source)

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