Press Release: Empire of the Sun
J. G. Ballard
Introduced by William Boyd
Illustrated by Tim Laing
‘An incredible literary achievement and almost intolerably moving’
In the author’s own words, Empire of the Sun ‘draws on my experiences in Shanghai … and in Lunghua C.A.C. [Civilian Assembly Centre] where I was interned from 1942–5’. The protagonist, Jim, takes Ballard’s first name and, like the author, is born in Shanghai to British parents.
Aged only 11 when he is separated from his family during the Japanese takeover, he cycles through the Shanghai streets in search of his parents,scavenging food and sleeping in the beds of vanished families. While roaming the creeks and waste tips of Nantao, he finds a dubious guardian in Basie, a shrewd American hustler, but convinced that his parents are in a prison camp, his only hope lies in surrender to the Japanese, and four brutal years in a civilian internment camp.
This Folio Society edition – the first to be illustrated – features striking images by award-winning artist Tim Laing. Images that gain their authenticity from his study of real objects and contemporary photographs.
Superbly introduced by the celebrated novelist William Boyd, Empire of the Sun illuminates Ballard’s entire career: the roots of his dystopian tropes (the wrecked planes, empty swimming pools and tortured physicians) and his preoccupation with the psychic effects of alienation and deprivation. As Boyd notes, it is Ballard’s ‘entrancing poetry’ that transmutes his own childhood trauma into something extraordinary: a stark world in which terror and beauty are enmeshed.
Three-quarter bound in cloth with a Modigliani paper front board. Set in Minion with Roos Initials display. 304 pages. title page spread and 8 black & white integrated illustrations. Slipcase. 9½” x 6¼”.
UK £39.95 US $64.95 Can $82.95 Aus $82.95
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