Main content

J G Ballard

Sue Lawley's castaway is writer J G Ballard.

This week's Desert Island Discs castaway is writer JG Ballard. Since the early 1960s, he has been well-known as a science fiction writer. But more recently he has reached an even wider audience with his autobiographical novels Empire of the Sun and The Kindness of Women.

He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his extraordinary life - his childhood in Shanghai, his adolescence spent in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp and how, after the sudden and tragic death of his wife, he raised his three young children alone.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Falling In Love Again by Marlene Dietrich
Book: Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Luxury: Unicycle

Available now

40 minutes

Last on

Fri 4 Sep 1992 09:05

Music Played

  • Henry Hall

    Teddy Bears' Picnic

    • All Aboard! 24 Original All-Time Children's Favourites.
    • EMI.
  • Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters

    Don't Fence Me In

    • The Singing Detective / Music From The BBC Serial.
    • BBC Records.
  • Rita Hayworth

    Put The Blame On Mame

    • The Rita Hayworth Collection.
    • Dejavu.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Marlene Dietrich

      Falling In Love Again

      • Merlene.
      • ASV.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Non so più cosa son (from The Marriage of Figaro)

    Soloist: Anne Murray Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonia Orchestra Conductor: Riccardo Muti

    • Le Marriage Of Figaro.
    • EMI.
  • Astrud Gilberto

    The Girl From Ipanema

    • Antonio Carlos Jobim.
    • Verve.
  • Gioachino Rossini

    The Barber of Seville Overture

    Orchestra: The Orchestra Of La Scala Milan Conductor: Riccardo Chailly

    • Barber Of Seville.
    • CBS.
  • Noël Coward

    Let's Do It

    • Noel Coward At Las Vegas.
    • CBS.
  • Book Choice

    • Moby Dick - Herman Melville

  • Luxury Choice

    • Unicycle


Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest JG Ballard


  • Sun 2 Feb 1992 12:15
  • Fri 7 Feb 1992 09:05
  • Sun 30 Aug 1992 12:15
  • Fri 4 Sep 1992 09:05

Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes



Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?