Author(s): J. G. Ballard
The definitive cult, post-modern novel - a shocking blend of violence, transgression and eroticism. When Ballard, our narrator, smashes his car into another and watches a man die in front of him, his sense of sexual possibilities in the world around him becomes detached. As he begins an affair with the dead man's wife, he finds himself drawn with increasing intensity to the mangled impacts of car crashes. Then he encounters Robert Vaughan, a former TV scientist turned nightmare angel of the expressway, who has gathered around him a collection of alienated crash victims and experiments with a series of auto-erotic atrocities, each more sinister than the last. But Vaughan craves the ultimate crash - a head-on collision of blood, semen, engine coolant and iconic celebrity. First published in 1973 Crash remains one of the most shocking novels of the second half of the twentieth century and was made into an equally controversial film by David Cronenberg. Ballard's autobiography Miracles of Life was published in 2008 and Extreme Metaphors, a collection of interviews with the author, is due out in 2012.
J.G. Ballard was born in 1930 in Shanghai, where his father was a businessman. After internment in a civilian prison camp, he and his family returned to England in 1946. He published his first novel, 'The Drowned World', in 1961. His 1984 bestseller 'Empire of the Sun' won the Guardian Fiction Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was later filmed by Steven Spielberg. His most recent novel is 'Kingdom Come', published in 2006, his autobiogaphy 'Miracles of Life' was published in 2008 to much acclaim.