Lisson Gallery

Dates announced for the publication of Ai Weiwei's autobiography

17 May 2021

Vintage imprint The Bodley Head has announced the publication date for the highly-anticipated autobiography of artist and activist Ai Weiwei. To be released in the UK in November 2021 and now available to preorder, 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows gives us an astonishing portrait of China over the past hundred years, while illuminating Ai's artistic process. He explores the origins of his exceptional creativity and passionate political beliefs, and powerfully reveals the story of his father, Ai Qing, once an intimate of Mao Zedong and China’s most influential poet.

"The idea for this book came to me during the eighty-one days I was held in secret detention by the Chinese government in 2011," says Ai. "During those long weeks, I thought often of my father, a poet who had been exiled during Mao Zedong’s Anti-Rightist Campaign. I realised how incomplete my understanding of him was and how much I regretted the unbridgeable gap between us. I did not want my son to suffer the same regret. I resolved that if I was released I would write down what I knew of my father and tell my son honestly who I am, what life is like, why freedom is so precious, and why autocracy fears art."

Find further information and preorder here.

Dates announced for the publication of Ai Weiwei's autobiography
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