Ambitious ... 1,000 Years of Joys and Sorrows touches on the inevitable contradictions of being an activist and an art superstar, but it is above all a story of inherited resilience, strength of character and self-determination.
[Ai Weiwei] is most eloquent when he stops pontificating on art and surrenders, almost despite himself, to the act of remembering. Ai writes evocatively of the nights spent in his detention cell ... In 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows, 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.
This memoir is a remarkable book — and an important one. Vivid and direct prose ... 1000 Years is a breathtaking self-examination of a brave artist, written so that his own young son may one day understand Ai Weiwei's joys and sorrows.