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J.G. Ballard And 'The Psychology Of The Future'

Apr 21, 2009 (Fresh Air from WHYY)

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Though he was known as a science fiction writer, author J. G. Ballard once said that his books were about "picturing the psychology of the future."

Ballard's work — which often featured sex, violence and celebrity — was often controversial. His 1969 book, The Atrocity Exhibition, raised such controversy that Doubleday, its original American publisher, destroyed all copies of it after printing a first edition. It was published three years later under the name Love & Napalm: U.S.A.

Over the course of his career, Ballard produced more than 20 novels and short story collections. Perhaps his most famous work was the loosely autobiographical novel Empire Of The Sun, which Stephen Spielberg made into a movie in 1987.

Ballard died April 19 from cancer. He was 78.

This interview originally aired in 1988.

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