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James Clavell Biography

(1924–94), King Rat, Tai Pan, Shogun, Noble House, Whirlwind, Gai-jin

British writer, film director, and producer, born in Australia, educated at the University of Birmingham. Captured by the Japanese during the Second World War, he spent three years in Changi, the infamous Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Singapore; this formed the background to his first best-selling novel King Rat (1962), which was also filmed. Despite his experience, he has remained fascinated by the East, and his gift for an exciting story, impressively researched, has produced Tai Pan (1966); Shogun (1976, which was both filmed and made the subject of a TV series), an enormous novel on the impact of the West on seventeenth-century Japan; Noble House (1981); Whirlwind (1986); and Gai-jin (1993).

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Cheltenham Gloucestershire to Cockermouth Cumbria