Ballard, J. G.
(James Graham Ballard) băl´ərd [key]
, 1930–2009, English writer, mainly of dystopian science fiction. Born to English parents in Shanghai, he was torn from his affluent surroundings as a child during World War II, separated from his family, interned in a Japanese prison camp, and in general subjected to a harsh and often bizarre new life. These experiences are mirrored in his best-known work, the autobiographical novel Empire of the Sun
(1984, film 1987). A later novel, The Kindness of Women
(1991), continues his autobiographical tale. Ballard's other books, more than 20 novels and short-story collections, are richly imagistic and tinged with the surreal and the erotic. They often mingle fantasy and catastrophe in their portrayal of a bleak world devastated by technology and violence. His other novels include The Drowned World
(1962), The Crystal World
(1962), the controversial The Atrocity Exhibition
(1973, film 1996), High Rise
(1975), The Day of Creation
(1988), Cocaine Nights
(2001), and his posthumously published last novel, Kingdom Come
(2012). His Complete Short Stories
was published in 2002 (upd. ed., 2009).
See his autobiography (2008, repr. 2013); V. Vale, ed., J. G. Ballard Conversations (2005); studies by J. Goddard and D. Pringle, ed. (1976), D. Pringle (1979), P. Brigg (1985, repr. 2007), G. Stephenson (1991), R. Luckhurst (1997), A. Gasiorek (2005), and J. Baxter (2008 as ed. and 2009).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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