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1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: A Memoir

1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: A Memoir cover

1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: A Memoir

By  Ai Weiwei , Translated by  Allan H. Barr
$ 32.00
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The “intimate and expansive” (Time) memoir of “one of the most important artists working in the world today” (Financial Times), telling a remarkable history of China over the last hundred years while also illuminating his artistic process
 
“Poignant . . . An illuminating through-line emerges in the many parallels Ai traces between his life and his father’s.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)
 
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Time, BookPage, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews
 
Once a close associate of Mao Zedong and the nation’s most celebrated poet, Ai Weiwei’s father, Ai Qing, was branded a rightist during the Cultural Revolution, and he and his family were banished to a desolate place known as “Little Siberia,” where Ai Qing was sentenced to hard labor cleaning public toilets. Ai Weiwei recounts his childhood in exile, and his difficult decision to leave his family to study art in America, where he befriended Allen Ginsberg and was inspired by Andy Warhol and the artworks of Marcel Duchamp. With candor and wit, he details his return to China and his rise from artistic unknown to art world superstar and international human rights activist—and how his work has been shaped by living under a totalitarian regime.

Ai Weiwei’s sculptures and installations have been viewed by millions around the globe, and his architectural achievements include helping to design the iconic Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing. His political activism has long made him a target of the Chinese authorities, which culminated in months of secret detention without charge in 2011. Here, for the first time, Ai Weiwei explores the origins of his exceptional creativity and passionate political beliefs through his life story and that of his father, whose creativity was stifled.

At once ambitious and intimate, Ai Weiwei’s 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows offers a deep understanding of the myriad forces that have shaped modern China, and serves as a timely reminder of the urgent need to protect freedom of expression.

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.

ISBN: 9780553419467

ISBN-10: 9780553419467

Publisher: Crown

Publication Date: 11/02/2021 - 12:00am

On Sale: 11/02/2021 - 12:00am

Pages: 400

Language: English

Categories

Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs

History / Asia / China

Biography & Autobiography / Artists, Architects, Photographers