Custom Search

Empire Of The Sun

Empire Of The SunEmpire of the Sun is a 1984 novel by J. G. Ballard which was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Although like Ballard's earlier short story, "The Dead Time," published in the anthology Myths of the Near Future, it is essentially fiction, like the earlier story it draws extensively on Ballard's experiences in World War II.

Ballard later wrote a sequel, entitled The Kindness of Women.


The novel recounts the story of a young English boy, Jim Graham (Ballard's first and middle names are James Graham), who lives with his parents in Shanghai. After the Pearl Harbor attack, the Japanese occupy the Shanghai International Settlement, and in the following chaos Jim becomes separated from his parents.

He spends some time in abandoned mansions, living on remnants of packaged food, but is soon picked up by the Japanese and interned in the Lunghua Civilian Assembly Center.

Although the Japanese are "officially" the enemies, Jim identifies partly with them, both because he adores the pilots with their splendid machines and because he feels that Lunghua is still a comparatively safe place for him in these times.

Towards the end of the war, with the Japanese army collapsing, the food supply runs short. Jim barely survives, with people around him starving to death.

Original Source :