Author(s): J. G. Ballard
The fascinating, and largely autobiographical, sequel to J G Ballard's prize-winning 'Empire of the Sun', that follows Jim to post-war England. 'The Kindness of Women' continues the story of the boy whose life in Japanese-occupied Shaghai was described so memorably in 'Empire of the Sun', it sets those traumatic events within the context of a lifetime as we follow the narrator, Jim, to England and suburban Shepperton after the war. Jim tries and fails to find stability as a medical student at Cambridge and a trainee RAF pilot in Canada. Then, after settling happily into family life, his world is ripped apart by domestic tragedy. He plunges into the maelstrom of the 1960s, an instigator and subject of every aspect of cultural, social and sexual revolution. All this and much more, we see as the attempt of a bruised mind to make sense of the upheaval around it.
'Quite as extraordinary an achievement as "Empire of the Sun" ... A dazzling construction, a sequence of chapters almost every one a tour de force in its own right. He has put together the pieces of a fractured life here with honesty, humility and real brilliance' Guardian 'This is autobiography taken to the highest reaches of fiction, another wonderful novel of scorching power, shot through with honesty and lyricism' Observer 'Ballard is the most modern of writers; his art engages with the artefacts and obsessions of the second half of this century in a manner and with an intensity unmatched by any other writer. The book is full of mesmerising writing, classic examples of Ballard style, paragraphs and pages that disturb and enthral. The blend is very potent and highly intoxicating' William Boyd 'Brilliant...Ballard at his best' Independent on Sunday
J.G. Ballard was born in 1930 in Shanghai. After internment in a civilian prison camp, he and his family returned to England in 1946. He published his first novel, 'The Drowned World, in 1961. His 1984 bestseller 'Empire of the Sun' won the Guardian Fiction Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. It was later filmed by Steven Spielberg. His last novel was 'Kingdom Come', published in 2006, and his memoir 'Miracles of Life' was published in 2008. Extreme Metaphors, a collection of interviews, will be published in 2012. J.G. Ballard died in 2009.