The Kindness of Women by J.G. Ballard
The fascinating, and largely autobiographical, sequel to J G Ballard's prize-winning 'Empire of the Sun', that follows Jim to post-war England. 'The Kindness of Women' continues the story of the boy whose life in Japanese-occupied Shaghai was described so memorably in 'Empire of the Sun'. it sets those traumatic events within the context of a lifetime as we follow the narrator, Jim, to England after the war. He tries and fails to find stability as a medical student at Cambridge and a trainee RAF pilot in Canada. Then, after settling happily into 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 experimentation. All this and much more, we see as the attempt of a bruised mind to make sense of the uphaval around it.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 1991.
ISBN: 9780374181109. 343 pp.
Hardcover. Very good.