Miracles of life: Shanghai to Shepperton

Years ago I read J. G. Ballard’s Empire of the Sun and remember liking it. This biography tells the true story of his family’s years during WW II in an internment camp and his feeling of displacement on their return to England, which he never overcomes. He was truly happiest in the camp, where is was free to roam the camp, make friends with adults and children, and not be under his parents close supervision. His parents were always aloof and became more so in England. When his writing begins to sell, he marries and becomes a hands on father to his three children (the miracles), especially after his wife dies. The book was written at the end of his life when he knew he was dying of prostate cancer.

Upon finishing the book I feel he was quite “full of himself” but I liked him anyway.



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