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Empire of the Sun

Empire of the Sun

The heartrending story of a British boy’s four-year ordeal in a Japanese prison camp during the Second World War. Based on J. G. Ballard’s own childhood, this is the extraordinary account of a boy’s life in Japanese-occupied wartime Shanghai - a mesmerising, hypnotically compelling novel of war, of starvation and survival, of internment camps and death marches. It blends searing honesty with an almost hallucinatory vision of a world thrown utterly out of joint.


About the Author

J G Ballard

J G Ballard was born in Shanghai, China on 15 November 1930. His family was interned by the Japanese during the Second World War, returning to Britain in 1946. Ballard read Medicine at King’s College, Cambridge, and later studied English at London University. He worked as a copywriter and was stationed in Canada with the Royal Air Force.  In 1956 his first short story was published in New Worlds and he took a full-time job on a technical journal, moving on to become assistant editor of a scientific journal, where he stayed until 1961. His first novel, The Drowned World, was written in the same year.  His 1973 novel Crash, was made into a film by David Cronenberg in 1996.  Empire of the Sun won the Guardian Fiction Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was made into a film by Steven Spielberg in 1988.  His novel, Super-Cannes, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize.

He died in London in April 2009.