All the different bells of the city chimed, once each, this one high, that one low, some close by, others farther off, one cracked and peevish, another grave and sonorous, but agreeing in all their different voices on what the time was, even if some of them got to it a little more slowly than others.

 

Maintaining an Optimistic Belief in the Child

Philip Pullman is a master storyteller in a number of genres – from historical novels and fantasy to social realism and highly amusing parodies. With inventiveness, linguistic brilliance and psychological insight he creates and explores his own worlds without losing focus on here and now. Through his strong characters he stands firmly on the side of young people, ruthlessly questioning authority and proclaiming humanism and the power of love whilst maintaining an optimistic belief in the child even in the darkest of situations.
The citation of the jury

British author, born in Norwich, England, 1946.

Philip Pullman is best known for his fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, yet his work covers a number of other genres. 

He radically injects new life into fantasy by introducing a variety of alternative worlds and by allowing good and evil to become ambiguous. His historical Sally Lockhart thrillers are set in Victorian England, and present a young woman of unusual strength and independence – qualities also characteristic of his other heroines, not least Lyra in His Dark Materials.

Philip Pullman has also written contemporary realistic novels for young people, and a number of skilfully retold fairy tales, often in parody form. In each of these genres he combines storytelling and psychological insight of the highest order. The recipient of numerous awards, he was the first ever writer of literature for children and young people to receive the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in 2001.