Philip Pullman biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman Biography

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich on October 19, 1946 to Audrey and Alfred Pullman. The early part of his childhood was spent traveling from base to base as his father, and later stepfather, were part of the Royal Air Force (RAF). At age seven, following the death of his father, Philip and his younger brother Francis moved back to Britain to live with their grandfather in Norfolk, an Anglican clergyman. Their mother moved to London to find work.

When Pullman was eight, a stepfather - another RAF pilot - entered the Pullman family and once again the family moved from base to base. For a time, they settled in Australia. In Australia, he first discovered the wonders of comic books, a force that would later influence both his writing and illustrating of future stories. The family moved again back to Britain when Pullman was ten years old. They relocated this time to North Wales as his stepfather resigned from the Royal Air Force to concentrate on the growing family. He was enrolled in a prep school in Battersea, and later transferred to a state school in Harlech.

In 1965, Pullman won a scholarship to Exeter College in Oxford to study English. He did a number of odd jobs before moving back to Oxford to become a teacher. He taught at various middle schools for the next twelve years, publishing his first books during this time. Eventually becoming a regularly published author, Pullman was able to take on a part-time lecturer job at Westminster College, Oxford.

Pullman and his wife Jude live in Oxford with sons Jamie and Tom. In March of 2004, he received the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 2013 he was elected President of Society of Authors.

Philip Pullman's website

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Interview

An interview with Nancy Siscoe, senior executive editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers about Philip Pullman's new trilogy, The Book of Dust.

Nancy started at Knopf in 1996, not long after the publication of The Golden Compass. She began working with Philip Pullman in 2010.

How did this second trilogy come to pass? Who brought it up to whom? How long has it been in the works?

The idea for The Book of Dust began many years ago--not long after the publication of The Amber Spyglass. Philip Pullman had been wanting to tell the story of how Lyra came to be living at Jordan College, and in thinking about that, a longer story began to take shape in his mind--one that would begin when Lyra was just a baby, and would end with her as an adult. The idea began small, and has grown over the years into something truly magnificent.

How did you prepare to work on this new trilogy? Did you revisit His Dark Materials?

The Golden Compass was published just before I started at Knopf--it was a big part of why I wanted to work here! I was utterly enthralled with the world(s) Philip Pullman had created. And, of course, I awaited The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass with incredible impatience. Joan Slattery, Philip's Knopf editor at the time, knew how obsessed I was and allowed me to read both books in manuscript as they ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Philip Pullman at BookBrowse
La Belle Sauvage jacket The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ jacket The Scarecrow and His Servant jacket The Amber Spyglass jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Philip Pullman but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Tomi Adeyemi

    Tomi Adeyemi

    Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach based in San Diego, California. After graduating Harvard University with an honors degree in English literature, she studied West African mythology and ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    La Belle Sauvage

    Try:
    Children of Blood and Bone
    by Tomi Adeyemi

  • Frank Beddor

    Frank Beddor

    Frank Beddor had already had a couple of intense careers, a professional skier (two-time freestyle world champion) and filmmaker (producer of the 1998 hit There’s Something About Mary) before deciding to become an ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Amber Spyglass

    Try:
    The Looking Glass Wars
    by Frank Beddor

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Book Discussion
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An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

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