The Kindness of Women
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The Kindness of Women

3.77 (1,222 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

'This is autobiography taken to the highest reaches of fiction, another wonderful novel of scorching power, shot through with honesty and lyricism' Observer


The Kindness of Women continues the story of Jim, the young boy whose experiences in Japanese-occupied Shanghai were described in Empire of the Sun. It follows his return to post-war England, setting his childhood in the context of a lifetime.


Jim tries, and fails, to find stability as a medical student at Cambridge, then as a trainee RAF pilot in Canada. Having finally settled into happy family life, his world is ripped apart by domestic tragedy. He plunges into the maelstrom of the 1960s, an instigator and subject of every aspect of cultural, social and sexual revolution.


We follow, in all this, the progress of a bruised mind as it tries to make sense of the upheaval around it. Turning conspicuously, as in Empire of the Sun, to the events of his own life, Ballard makes of experience fiction that is frankly startling and, at its most tender, powerfully moving.


This edition is part of a new commemorative series of Ballard's works, featuring introductions from a number of his admirers (including Ali Smith, Iain Sinclair, Martin Amis and Ned Beauman) and brand-new cover designs from the artist Stanley Donwood.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 20mm | 220g
  • FOURTH ESTATE LTD
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • UK ed.
  • 000654701X
  • 9780006547013
  • 146,162

Review quote

'Autobiography taken to the highest reaches of fiction, another wonderful novel of scorching power' Observer


'The most modern of writers; his art engages with the artefacts and obsessions of the second half of this century in a manner and with an intensity unmatched by any other writer I can think of' William Boyd


'Quite as extraordinary an achievement as "Empire of the Sun" ... A dazzling construction, a sequence of chapters almost every one of which is a tour de force in its own right' Guardian


'Compulsively readable ... unbearably moving' Financial Times


'Brilliant ... Ballard at his best' Independent on Sunday


'The terrifying thing about Ballard is his logic; is this science fiction or history written ahead of its time?' Len Deighton
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About J. G. Ballard

J. G. Ballard was born in 1930 in Shanghai. After internment in a civilian prison camp, his family returned to England in 1946. His 1984 bestseller 'Empire of the Sun' won the Guardian Fiction Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. His controversial novel 'Crash' was made into a film by David Cronenberg. His autobiography 'Miracles of Life' was published in 2008, and a collection of interviews with the author, 'Extreme Metaphors', was published in 2012. J. G. Ballard passed away in 2009.
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Rating details

1,222 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 25% (309)
4 38% (460)
3 27% (334)
2 8% (96)
1 2% (23)
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