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1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows by Ai Weiwei
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1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows

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

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Length 13 hours 7 minutes
Language English
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Brought to you by Penguin.

A FAMILY STORY AND THE TALE OF A NATION.

Ai Weiwei - one of the world's most famous artists and activists - weaves a century-long epic tale of China through the story of his own life and that of his father, Ai Qing, the nation's most celebrated poet.

Here, through the sweeping lens of his own and his father's life, Ai Weiwei tells an epic tale of China over the last 100 years, from the Cultural Revolution to the modern-day Chinese Communist Party.

Here is the story of a childhood spent in desolate exile after his father, Ai Qing, once China's most celebrated poet, fell foul of the authorities. Here is his move to America as a young man and his return to China, his rise from unknown to art-world superstar and international rights activist. Here is his extraordinary account of how his work has been shaped by living under a totalitarian regime.

It's the story of a father and a son, of exceptional creativity and passionate belief, and of how two indomitable spirits enabled the world to understand their country.

'Engrossing...a remarkable story' Sunday Times

'A story of inherited resilience and self-determination' Observer

'A majestic and exquisitely serious masterpiece about his China... One of the great voices of our time' Andrew Solomon

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

ยฉ Ai Weiwei 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

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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Reviews

Intimate, unflinching ... an instant classic ... a glorious testament to the power of free expression This is the rarest sort of memoir, rising above the arc of history to grasp at the limits of the soul Above all a story of inherited resilience, strength of character and self-determination An impassioned testament to the enduring powers of art 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 Expand reviews
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