Philip Pullman

Writer

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Books

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Film, TV & Theatre

Agent: Natasha Galloway
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Books

The Lord of Dust, creator of daemons and spinner of the finest fairy tales, Philip Pullman is one of the world’s greatest and most influential storytellers. His wide-ranging body of work encompasses books for both adults and children, but he is best-known for the unparalleled achievement that is HIS DARK MATERIALS and the eagerly awaited sequel, LA BELLE SAUVAGE, the first volume in Pullman's new series THE BOOK OF DUST. Published by Penguin Random and David Fickling Books in October 2017, LA BELLE SAUVAGE has since been named Waterstone's Book of the Year. 

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England in 1946 and grew up in Zimbabwe and Wales. He worked as a teacher for many years and his first children’s novel, COUNT KARLSTEIN, came out in 1982. THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE, the first of the Sally Lockhart quartet of Victorian thrillers, was published in 1985.

He has won many awards for his children’s books, including the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Book Award, the Smarties Prize, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and a CBE. His acclaimed fantasy trilogy, HIS DARK MATERIALS (Scholastic Books in the UK and Knopf in the US), comprising NORTHERN LIGHTS, THE SUBTLE KNIFE and THE AMBER SPYGLASS, has been published in 39 languages, and even in graphic novel form (with the French publishers, Gallimard). The first volume is now a major motion picture, released in 2007. The BBC, in line with Bad Wolf Productions, have recently commissioned a new drama series based on HIS DARK MATERIALS, on which Philip is to be an executive producer.  

Philip's other books for children and young adults include CLOCKWORK, I WAS A RAT!, and THE NEW CUT GANG books; THUNDERBOLT'S WAXWORK and THE GAS-FITTER'S BALL. ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE NORTH was published in April 2008. He is working on THE BOOK OF DUST, another book about the characters in the HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy.

In 2010 Philip published his controversial number one bestseller THE GOOD MAN JESUS AND THE SCOUNDREL CHRIST.

Philip Pullman lives in Oxford with his wife, and has two sons.

Children's

Publication DetailsNotes

THE SCARECROW AND HIS SERVANT

2005

UK: Transworld; US:Random House;Chinese (simplified): Beijing Children's Publishing; Danish: Sesam (reverted); Dutch: Van Goor;

One night there was a thunderstorm. A tattered scarecrow stood in the wind and rain, taking no notice . . . until a bolt of lightning struck his turnip head. The scarecrow blinked with surprise and came to life.
So begins the story of the Scarecrow, a courteous but pea-brained fellow with grand ideas. He meets a boy, Jack, who becomes his faithful servant. Leaving behind the Scarecrow’s usual bird-scaring duties, the Scarecrow sets out for Spring Valley, with Jack at his side. Along the way there’s no end of excitement, not least avoiding the many members of the crooked Buffaloni family. As the valiant Scarecrow plunges them into terrifying dangers – pirates and treasure islands, brigands and broken hearts – it’s up to Jack time after time to save the day.

A dramatic tale full of twists and turns, surprises and silliness – just as one would expect from a consummate storyteller.

THE SCARECROW AND HIS SERVANT was shortlisted for the 2004 Carnegie Medal (presented in 2005).

THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE

1999

UK and Canada: Scholastic; US: Knopf; Catalan: Bromera; Chinese: Muse; Czech: Egmont; Danish: Lindhardt & Ringhof (reverted); Du

'Have you ever heard the phrase The Seven Blessings?' That question causes a man to die of shock, and propels Sally Lockhart into a desperate adventure that will expose the deepest secrets of the corrupt and murderous opium trade.
Sally is sixteen when the story begins, orphaned and alone. She's had an unconventional education: her knowledge of English Literature, French, History, Art and Music is non-existent, but she has a thorough grounding in military tactics, can run a business, ride like a Cossack and shoot straight with a pistol.

When her father is drowned in suspicious circumstances in the South China Sea, Sally soon finds herself in terrible danger too - and at the rotten heart of it all lies the deadly secret of the ruby in the smoke.

THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE is now a major BBC TV adaptation starring Billie Piper, to be screened over Christmas 2006. This novel is the first in the Sally Lockhart Quartet; the second, THE SHADOW IN THE NORTH, is to follow the first as a BBC adaptation. The third and fourth titles in the series are THE TIGER IN THE WELL and THE TIN PRINCESS.

THE ADVENTURES OF THE NEW CUT GANG

2012

UK: David Fickling Books US: Random House

Meet the New Cut gang - Benny, Thunderbolt, Bridie and the Peretti twins - the greatest detectives since Sexton Blake. Who's passing counterfeit coins round Lambeth? Surely not Thunderbolt's dad, who's been arrested. And who's stolen the Worshipful Company of Gas-Fitters' silver? With a little help from some colourful (and not always willing) accomplices, our heroes are soon blazing hot on the criminals' trail.

Published together for the first time are Philip Pullman's classic tales of crime and detection: THUNDERBOLT'S WAXWORK and THE GAS-FITTERS' BALL.

ALADDIN AND THE ENCHANTED LAMP

2009

UK: Scholastic Children's Books

Aladdin is a lazy wretch whose only trade is making mischief and breaking his poor mother’s heart – certainly not the type of boy for whom destiny has a plan. But when a Moor arrives in the marketplace with a dagger of gold and a smile revealing teeth like pointed needles, it is Aladdin whom he seeks, and Aladdin who will lead him into the desert, where a hidden garden of enchantment conceals powerful magic. A tale of treachery in the sand, jinnees, jewels, and the love of a princess, ALADDIN AND THE ENCHANTED LAMP is told with Philip Pullman’s inimitable style and illustrated in rich and vibrant colours.

Fiction

Publication DetailsNotes

THE SUBTLE KNIFE

1997

UK: Scholastic; US: Knopf; Catalan: Empuries; Chinese (simplified): Shanghai Translation; Croatian: Sysprint; Czech: Classic-Tom

Will is twelve years old and he's just killed a man. Now he's on his own, on the run, determined to discover the truth about his father's disappearance.
Then Will steps through a window in the air into another world, and finds himself with a companion - a strange, savage little girl called Lyra. Like Will, she has a mission which she intends to carry out at all costs.

But the world of Cittagazze is a strange and unsettling place. Deadly, soul-eating Spectres stalk its streets, while high above, the wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. And in the mysterious Torre degli Angeli lurks Citagazze's most important secret - an object which people from many different worlds would kill to possess...

THE SUBTLE KNIFE is the second book in the HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy.

THE GOOD MAN JESUS AND THE SCOUNDREL CHRIST

2010

World Rights: Canongate

Philip Pullman on his extraordinary retelling of the gospel stories to be published as part of Canongate’s Myth Series:
“By the time the gospels were being written, Paul had already begun to transform the story of Jesus into something altogether new and extraordinary, and some of his version influenced what the gospel writers put in theirs. Paul was a literary and imaginative genius of the first order who has probably had more influence on the history of the world than any other human being, Jesus certainly included.... The story I tell comes out of the tension within the dual nature of Jesus Christ, but what I do with it is my responsibility alone. Parts of it read like a novel, parts like a history, and parts like a fairy tale; I wanted it to be like that because it is, among other things, a story about how stories become stories.”

THE AMBER SPYGLASS

2000

UK: Scholastic; US Knopf; Catalan: Empuries; Chinese (simplified): Shanghai Translation; Croatian: Sysprint; Czech: Classic-Tom

The acclaimed first two novels in the HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy – NORTHERN LIGHTS (THE GOLDEN COMPASS in America) and THE SUBTLE KNIFE - established this epic fantasy as a classic of imaginative fiction. In this eagerly awaited final novel Lyra and Will, lost in their separate worlds, are swept up in the cataclysmic struggle for control of the Dust of human consciousness. On the one hand lie the forces of divine oppression, led by the usurper Metatron; on the other the forces of authority led by the rebellious Lord Asriel and the angel Promethiel, once known as Lucifer. This is a spellbinding cosmic adventure story, a profound moral fable and a heart-rending story of love and survival. Motion picture/television rights to the trilogy have been bought outright by Scholastic Productions.

NORTHERN LIGHTS

1995

UK: Scholastic; US: Knopf; Catalan: Empuries; Chinese (simplified): Shanghai Translation; Croatian: Sysprint; Czech: Classic-Tom

When Lyra's friend Roger disappears, she and her daemon, Pantalaimon, determine to find him. The ensuing quest leads them to the bleak splendour of the North, where armoured bears rule the ice and witch-queens fly through the frozen skies - and where a team of scientists is conducting experiments too horrible to be spoken about.
Lyra overcomes these strange terrors, only to find something yet more perilous waiting for her - something with consequences which may even reach beyond the Northern Lights...

First published in 1995, NORTHERN LIGHTS, the first in the HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy, was immediately recognised as a masterpiece of children's fiction. The trilogy has sold over fifteen million copies worldwide, and the books are now well-established as classics. NORTHERN LIGHTS was recently adapted as a film starring Dakota Blue Richards, Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, under its alternative title, THE GOLDEN COMPASS.

HIS DARK MATERIALS

2001

UK: Scholastic; US Knopf; Albanian: Botimet Dudaj; Bulgarian: Bard; Catalan: Empuries; Chinese complex: Unicorn; Chinese simplif

Philip Pullman's bestselling trilogy which comprises NORTHERN LIGHTS, THE SUBTLE KNIFE and THE AMBER SPYGLASS (the first children's/adult book to win the Whitbread Book of the Year, as well as being longlisted for the Booker Prize) has now been produced as a single volume.
Praise for HIS DARK MATERIALS:

Philip Pullman. Is he the best storyteller ever? The Observer

Move over, Tolkien and C S Lewis. Philip Pullman has completed his extraordinary cosmological tour de force…an astonishing imaginative feat. The Telegraph

As well as giving his readers stories that tick with the precision, accuracy and grace of an eighteenth century clock, he also writes like an angel…he gives his readers precisely the satisfaction they look for in a novel: well made, absorbing characters, supreme elegance of style and tone, a richly inventive landscape, and finally some very big ideas fearlessly explored. The Observer

Philip Pullman, capable of lighting up the dullest day or greyest spirit with the incandescence of his imagination. The Independent

This is remarkable writing: courageous and dangerous as the best art should be. The Times

Philip Pullman’s HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy is one of the great imaginative works in the English language. Terry Jones

GRIMM TALES FOR YOUNG AND OLD

2012

World English Language: Penguin UK; Chinese (simplified): Shanghai Insight Media; French: Gallimard; German: Aladin; Greek: Psic

Philip Pullman has selected his favourite tales from the Brothers Grimm and retold them in sparkling, clear and contemporary language. Pullman's selection includes all the most famous, familiar tales - 'Little Red Riding Hood', 'Cinderella', 'Snow White' - alongside other equally delightful but lesser known stories.

Film, TV & Theatre

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England in 1946 and grew up in Zimbabwe and Wales. He worked as a teacher for many years and his first children’s novel, COUNT KARLSTEIN, came out in 1982. THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE, the first of the Sally Lockhart quartet of Victorian thrillers, was published in 1985.

He has won many awards for his children’s books, including the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Book Award, the Smarties Prize, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and a CBE. His acclaimed fantasy trilogy, HIS DARK MATERIALS (Scholastic Books in the UK and Knopf in the US), comprising NORTHERN LIGHTS, THE SUBTLE KNIFE and THE AMBER SPYGLASS, has been published in 39 languages, and the first volume is now a major motion picture, released in cinemas 7th December 2007.

Philip's other books for children and young adults include CLOCKWORK, I WAS A RAT!, and THE NEW CUT GANG books; THUNDERBOLT'S WAXWORK and THE GAS-FITTER'S BALL. ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE NORTH was published in April 2008. He is working on THE BOOK OF DUST, another book about the characters in the HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy.

In 2010 Philip published his controversial number one bestseller THE GOOD MAN JESUS AND THE SCOUNDREL CHRIST.

Philip Pullman lives in Oxford with his wife, and has two sons.