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November, 2003
The pulling power of a great author
Phillip Pullman
Philip Pullman signing books in Waterstones.

Local Whitbread Prize winning author Philip Pullman was in Oxford this month signing copies of new book Lyra's Oxford.

Tim Bearder takes a look at his career.


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Philip Pullman is not only Oxford's finest contemporary author but he is also one of the country's finest writers enjoying international acclaim for his books.

In 2001 The Amber Spyglass from His Dark Materials trilogy won him the Whitbread Book of the Year prize. Now, boosted by it's inclusion in the BBC's Big Read top 21, the trilogy has over taken the Harry Potter books in the sales charts.


Listen to Philip talking about his new book with BBC Radio Oxford's Jan Edwards


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In 2002 Pullman's trilogy sold 748,099 copies beaten only by sales of The Lord of The Rings which was written by Oxford author JRR Tolkien.

With such success under Philip's belt it is little wonder that fans are so eagerly awaiting his latest book, Lyra's Oxford which is released on November 6, 2003.

It was originally meant to be a short story which developed the local Oxford connections in his books but it rapidly developed into a wonderful story which incorporating maps and illustrations by the master illustrator and engraver John Lawrence.

The book stands alone from the trilogy, and can be read as such or as a companion to the other titles and starts after the end of The Amber Spyglass as Lyra sits on the roofs of Oxford she sees a daemon, the daemon of a witch, a bird, a storm petrel, flying towards her pursued by a huge flock of starlings. And a mystery unfolds…

The fabulous book contains the specially printed map and other articles of intrest that are bound to thrill fans of the trilogy and new readers alike. It should certainly whet the appetite for Philip's next novel in the His Dark Materials sequence, the forthcoming The Book of Dust due out next year.

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