Congratulations to Exeter alumnus Philip Pullman (1965, English), who has been named author of the year at the British Book Awards for his ‘outstanding’ success.
The author was recognised following the release of La Belle Sauvage, in 2017. The audiobook of La Belle Sauvage, narrated by Michael Sheen, also received recognition in its category.
La Belle Sauvage is a breath-taking, river-borne adventure that sees adolescents Malcolm Polstead and Alice Parslow try to protect a baby from murderous authorities. It is the first part in a trilogy that spans ten years either side of the events of Pullman’s much-loved and acclaimed His Dark Materials trilogy. Set partly in Oxford, Exonians will recognise Jordan College in Malcolm and Alice’s universe as the fictional counterpart to Exeter College.
Organisers of the British Book Awards said that Pullman was named author of the year for his ‘outstanding commercial success alongside a genuine contribution to the general health of the book world.’ The award also recognised Pullman as an advocate for literature who supports causes such as school libraries and who has campaigned for an end to gender-specific children’s books.
Accepting the award, Pullman said he ‘couldn’t be more happy’ with the way La Belle Sauvage had been received. ‘I seemed to have been writing it for 18 years, and I let the publishers have it when I thought it was OK, but you can never tell what readers and critics will feel,’ he said.
La Belle Sauvage sold 70,000 copies in the UK during its first week of release, while worldwide sales of Pullman’s His Dark Materials have reached 15 million since the trilogy was published between 1995 and 2000.
To read more about La Belle Sauvage or to purchase a copy click here.