Category: Biographies / General
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 1 September 2008
Number of pages: 288
Prizes: Shortlisted for Galaxy British Book Awards: Tesco Biography of the Year 2009.
J. G. Ballard has been, for over fifty years, one of this country's most significant writers. Beginning with the events that inspired his classic novel, 'Empire of the Sun', in this revelatory autobiography he charts the course of his astonishing life. J.G. Ballard has been, for over fifty years, one of this country's most significant writers. Beginning with the events that inspired his classic novel, "Empire of the Sun", in this revelatory autobiography he charts the course of his astonishing life. "Miracles of Life" takes us from the vibrant surroundings of pre-war Shanghai, to the deprivations and unexpected freedoms of Lunghua Camp, to Ballard's arrival in a devastated Britain. Ballard recounts his first attempts at fiction and his part in the social and artistic revolutions of the 60s. He describes his friendships with figures as diverse as Kingsley Amis, Michael Moorcock and Eduardo Paolozzi alongside recollections of his domestic life in Shepperton -- raising three children as a single father following the unexpected and premature death of his wife. "Miracles of Life" is both a captivating narrative of the experiences that have shaped this extraordinary writer's works, his distinctive outlook and his original visions of the future, and is also an account of a remarkable life.
What the papers say:
'In some cases rave reviews can be wholly sincere. Mr. Ballard, you are wonderful.' Sunday Times 'The origins of this extraordinary and wonderful writer are now set out in this pellucid, forgiving, tranquil autobiography!this is a remarkable autobiography, treating events which most of us can barely imagine with tranquil dignity and exactness!an unforgettable farewell.' Spectator 'Brilliant and mesmerising!this wonderful, clear-sighted autobiography!has a wisdom and depth that makes you long to hug the author and say '"Thank you" and wish him well.' Daily Mail 'What this brief, modest and occasionally shattering book only glances at is the extraordinary body of work that has flowed from this remarkable life!fascinating!."Miracles of Life" also tells quite another story, unconscious and inadvertent, but finally brave in a way that elevates it to a level of greatness.' Observer 'Exquisitely written!"Miracles of Life", a subtle, restlessly enquiring work of touching humanity, is Ballard's crowning achievement.' Financial Times 'A jewel!as a writer, he can simply take the breath away.' Independent 'Written in characteristic spare direct prose!if this is to be his final book, it is a worthy one, both as the story of a remarkable life and of an outsider trying to make sense of postwar Britain.' The Times
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. 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, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was later filmed by Steven Spielberg. His most recent novel is 'Kingdom Come', published in 2006.
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