Empire of the Sun

by J. G. Ballard
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Why does Jamie’s family need to leave Shanghai?

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Empire of the Sunby J. G. Ballard tells the story of experiences in China after its invasion by the Japanese during World War II.  It is very closely based on Ballard's own experiences at that time.

The main character is a boy, Jamie Graham, who is enrolled in...

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Empire of the Sun by J. G. Ballard tells the story of experiences in China after its invasion by the Japanese during World War II.  It is very closely based on Ballard's own experiences at that time.

The main character is a boy, Jamie Graham, who is enrolled in school in the prestigious  Shanghai International Settlement.  His family is an upper-class British family who is used to a decadent life of entitlement.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the invasion of surrounding countries by Japanese soldiers finds the Graham family in need of leaving their opulent home and surrendering to the lifestyle of refugees.

Unfortunately, Jamie is separated from his parents during their hasty departure. He returns to the house hoping that his mother, at least, will return and ferry him away to safety.  However, that is not the outcome that awaits him.

 

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