J. G. Ballard Dies
James Graham Ballard (15 November 1930 – 19 April 2009) was an English novelist and short story writer who was a prominent part of the science fiction New Wave movement.
His best-known novels are the controversial Crash, an exploration of sexual fetishism connected to automobile accidents, and the loosely autobiographical Empire of the Sun, about his childhood internment by the Japanese during World War II after the invasion and conquest of Shanghai, where Ballard was born in the International Settlement. Both books were adapted into films, by David Cronenberg and Steven Spielberg respectively.
So distinctive was his work that the adjective "Ballardian" entered the language, defined by the Collins English Dictionary as "resembling or suggestive of the conditions described in J. G. Ballard's novels and stories, especially dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments."
Ballard was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2006, from which he died in London in April 2009.
Crash is a novel by English author J. G. Ballard, first published in 1973. It is a story about car-crash sexual fetishism: its protagonists become sexually aroused by staging and participating in real car-crashes, often with real consequences. Ballard uses a cold and detached language about this automotive paraphilia which gives the novel the tone of an engineering report or a medical journal.
It was a highly controversial novel: famously one publisher's reader returned the verdict "This author is beyond psychiatric help. Do Not Publish!" The novel was made into a movie of the same name in 1996 by David Cronenberg. The Normal's 1978 song "Warm Leatherette" was also inspired by the novel.