Miracles of Life: Shanghai to Shepperton, an Autobiography

Miracles of Life: Shanghai to Shepperton, an Autobiography


By (author) J G Ballard, Introduction by China Mi Ville, Introduction by China Mieville

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  • Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
  • Format: Hardback | 250 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 213mm x 33mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 4 February 2013
  • ISBN 10: 0871404206
  • ISBN 13: 9780871404206
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 1,163,002

Product description

Never before published in America, this revelatory autobiography--hailed as "fascinating [and] amazingly lucid" (Guardian)--charts the remarkable story of James Graham Ballard, a man described by Martin Amis as "the most original English writer of the last century." Beginning with his Shanghai childhood, Miracles of Life guides us from the deprivations of Lunghua Camp during World War II, which provide the back story for his best-selling Empire of the Sun, to his arrival in war-torn England and his emergence as "the ideal chronicler of our disturbed modernity" (Observer). With prose of characteristic precision, Ballard movingly recalls his first attempts at science fiction, the 1970 American pulping of The Atrocity Exhibition--which sprang from his fascination with JFK conspiracy theories--and his life as a single father after the premature death of his wife. "This book should make yet more converts to a cause that Ballard's devotees have been pleading for years" (Independent).

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Review quote

Warmer, plainer and more elegiac than his admirers may have foreseen... What's largely new, and savage, in this memoir is the level of disillusionment Ballard came to feel during the war, about both England and his own distant parents... I'm not sure I've read a more comprehensive takedown of the postwar British psyche... Beneath Ballard's inherently critical mind, and in contrast to the alienation that permeates his fiction, Miracles of Life slowly unfolds into a rather big-hearted book about family and child rearing... I read it with deep interest as critic and father. --Dwight Garner