J.G. Ballard (1930-2009)
Novels of disaster and experimentation, including 1962's The Drowned World and 1973's Crash, later made into a film by David Cronenberg, garnered him a growing reputation as an anti-establishment avant garde writer. Crash, in which a couple become sexually aroused through car crashes, was written as a motorway extension was being built past the end of his street in Shepperton, west London.
In 1984, Ballard reached a new level of public recognition with Empire of the Sun, a straightforwardly realist novelisation of his detention as a teenager in a Japanese camp for civilians in Shanghai.