Monday, 15 November 2010
On this day...
Science fiction author J. G. Ballard was born in 1930. The son of a textiles worker, Ballard was born in Shanghai, being forced to live through both the Second Sino-Japanese War and the after effects of the Pearl Harbour attack. Living through these atrocities ultimately shaped his creative output, for as Ballard himself said, 'I don't think you can go through the experience of war without one's perceptions of the world being forever changed'.
Having returned to England, Ballard went on to study medicine, but became disenfranchised with the profession as it left hiim no time to write, and instead went to read English Literature. Ballard then pursued a number of odd jobs, including a stint in the RAF, before writing his first full length novel, 'The Wind From Nowhere' in 1960. Four years later, and well into his writing career, his wife suddenly died, leaving him to raise his four children alone. Yet despite this early hardship, J. G. Ballard went on to write some of the most popular titles in science fiction, such as 'Crash' and 'Empire of the Sun'. He died in 2009, at the age of 78.