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Books & Bagels May 2023: 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows

Sunday, May 7, 2023

4:30 PM



Join us on Zoom for a stimulating discussion of this memoir! Link sent via email. To join Books & Bagels, email Barbara Poehls at

This month's read is 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows, a memoir by celebrated artist and activist Ai Weiwei.

Ai Weiwei's father, Ai Qing, was China's most celebrated poet - until the Maoist regime branded him a rightist, and he and his family were banished to the desolate "bittle Siberia," where Ai Qing was sentenced to hard labor. 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 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.

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