Hanging Man by Barnaby Martin
The Arrest of Ai Weiwei

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Martin offers much historical context. “Hanging Man” will help the newcomer to Chinese history appreciate the power of the Chinese state and the official apparatus it has brought to bear against dissidents.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

The gripping story of post-Mao China and the harrowing fate of the artist and activist Ai Weiwei

In October 2010, Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds appeared in the Turbine Hall in the Tate Modern. In April 2011, he was arrested and held for more than two months in terrible conditions. The most famous living Chinese artist and activist, Weiwei is a figure of extraordinary talent, courage, and integrity. From the beginning of his career, he has spoken out against the world's most powerful totalitarian regime, in part by creating some of the most beautiful and mysterious artworks of our age, works which have touched millions around the world.

Just after Ai Weiwei's release from illegal detention, Barnaby Martin flew to Beijing to interview him about his imprisonment and to learn more about what is really going on behind the scenes in the upper echelons of the Chinese Communist Party. Based on these interviews and Martin's own intimate connections with China, Hanging Man is an exploration of Weiwei's life, art, and activism and also a meditation on the creative process, and on the history of art in modern China. It is a rich picture of the man and his milieu, of what he is trying to communicate with his art, and of the growing campaign for democracy and accountability in China. It is a book about courage and hope found in the absence of freedom and justice.

 

About Barnaby Martin

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Barnaby Martin is a journalist who has written for The Daily Telegraph and has spent many years living in China. He has written novels, some of which were bestsellers, under a pen name.
 
Published September 17, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 253 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography, Law & Philosophy, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Hanging Man
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Jul 30 2013

A British journalist with considerable experience in China illuminates the significance of artist and activist Ai Weiwei and his embodiment of cultural upheaval. [...] A book that offers great clarity on an important subject without succumbing to oversimplification.

Read Full Review of Hanging Man: The Arrest of Ai... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Isabel Hilton on Apr 06 2013

...a memorable snapshot of the inspiring figures who remain true to their creative ideals in today's China, despite the official repression of originality.

Read Full Review of Hanging Man: The Arrest of Ai... | See more reviews from Guardian

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Tom Zelman on Oct 05 2013

Martin offers much historical context. “Hanging Man” will help the newcomer to Chinese history appreciate the power of the Chinese state and the official apparatus it has brought to bear against dissidents.

Read Full Review of Hanging Man: The Arrest of Ai... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

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