Empire of the Sun

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HarperCollins Publishers, Jun 28, 2012 - Fiction - 384 pages

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.

Rooted as it is in the author’s own disturbing experience of war in our time, it is one of a handful of novels by which the twentieth century will be not only remembered but judged.

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Empire of the Sun

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In Ballard's moving 1984 World War II novel, a small British boy searches for his parents and gets imprisoned in a Japanese concentration camp. Pretty strong stuff. Read full review

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About the author (2012)

J.G. Ballard was born in 1930 in Shanghai, where his father was a businessman. After internment in a civilian prison camp, he and his family returned to England in 1946. His 1984 bestseller ‘Empire of the Sun’ won the Guardian Fiction Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was later filmed by Steven Spielberg. His controversial novel ‘Crash’ was also made into an equally controversial film by David Cronenberg. His most recent novels include the Sunday Times bestsellers ‘Cocaine Nights’ and ‘Super-Cannes’.

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