In parched Port-la-Nouvelle in central Africa, Dr Mallory watches his clinic fail and dreams of discovering a third Nile to make the Sahara bloom. During the search for water, an ancient tree stump is uprooted by one of his bulldozers and water wells up, spreading until it becomes an enormous river. With the once arid land now abounding in birds and beasts, the obsessed Mallory forges up-river in an old car ferry, clashing with hostile factions as he tries to find the source of his own creation.
J.G. Ballard was born in 1930 in Shanghai, where his father was a businessman. After internment in a civilian prison camp, he and his family returned to England in 1946. His 1984 bestseller Empire of the Sun won the Guardian Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was later filmed by Steven Spielberg. His controversial novel Crash has recently been made into an equally controversial film by David Cronenberg. His most recent novels are Cocaine Nights and Super-Cannes.