|NOVELIST, ESSAYIST (ENGLAND)|
BORN 15 Nov 1930, Shanghai - DIED 19 Apr 2009, London|
REAL NAME Ballard, James Graham
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (near junction of Centre Avenue and the Circle)
James Graham Ballard was the son of a chemist who was managing director of the China Printing and Finishing Company in Shanghai. He grew up in Shanghai and was interned with his family in a camp from 1943 to 1945. In 1945 he went to England with his mother and sister. They lived in Plymouth and he studied medicin in Cambridge. In Cambridge he wrote fiction and in 1951 he decided to abandon his studies in order to be able to write. He worked as a copywriter and salesman because he was unable to publish his short stories.
He Joined the Royal Air Force in 1954 and was sent to Canada. There he discovered science fiction. In 1955 he left the RAF and in England he married Helen Mary Matthews. He settled with her in Chiswick, London and they had three children.
He started writing science fiction himself and in 1956 two short stories were published. In 1958 he became assistant editor of the journal Chemistry and Industry. In 1960 the family moved to Shepperton where he lived until his death. His wife died in 1964 and he never remarried.
Several of his novels and stories were published, but it wasn't until 1984 before he became widely known by his "Empire of the Sun" that was inspired by his years in Shanghai and in the internment camp. In 1987 it was turned into a movie by Steven Spielberg. He continued to write novels, among them "Super-Cannes" (2000). In 2006 he was informed that he had terminal prostate cancer. His autobiographical "Miracles of Life" was published in 2008. He died in 2009 in London.
J. G. Ballard - Wikipedia