JG Ballard, 1930-2009
From the BBC: Cult author JG Ballard dies at 78
The author J.G. Ballard, famed for novels such as Crash and Empire of the Sun, has died aged 78 after a long illness.
His agent Margaret Hanbury said the author had been ill "for several years" and had died on Sunday morning.
Despite being referred to as a science fiction writer, Jim Ballard said his books were instead "picturing the psychology of the future".
His most acclaimed novel was Empire of the Sun, based on his childhood in a Japanese prison camp in China.
The author of 15 novels and scores of short stories, Ballard grew up amongst the expatriate community in Shanghai.
During World War II, at the age of 12, he was interned for three years in a camp run by the Japanese.
He later moved to Britain and in the early 1960s became a full-time writer.
Ballard built up a passionate readership, particularly after Empire of The Sun, a fictionalised account of his childhood, was made into a film by Steven Spielberg.
He said of his experiences: "I have – I won’t say happy – not unpleasant memories of the camp. I remember a lot of the casual brutality and beatings-up that went on, but at the same time we children were playing a hundred and one games all the time!"
Director David Cronenberg brought Ballard’s infamous book about the sexual desires stimulated by car crashes to the screen in the film Crash.
The film caused a media stir, adding to Ballard’s reputation for courting controversy.
In later years he wrote other acclaimed novels such as Super-Cannes and Millennium People.
I don’t know about you, but I think I’m going to watch Empire of the Sun tonight and be amazed at the story, at Christian Bale, and at an extraordinary life.
Hat tip: Boing Boing.