Philip Pullman is the best-selling author of many books, most notably those of the His Dark Materials trilogy. Born in England in 1951, Pullman traveled extensively as a child due to his father’s job in the British Royal Air Force. When Pullman was seven, his father died in an imperialist military campaign in Kenya, and he briefly moved with his mother to Australia before returning to the United Kingdom. As a young man, he earned a degree in English literature at Oxford University.
As an adult, Pullman has worked as a teacher, university professor, illustrator and author, most famously of children’s literature. Pullman rose to fame in 1995 with the release of Northern Lights, known as The Golden Compass in North America and some other countries. The novel has also created controversy for Pullman due to what many see as his strong critique of organized religion.
However, in interviews, Pullman often insists that he is first and foremost a storyteller. Thus, the message of his stories is up to the reader’s interpretation. Pullman says his goal is not to convince his readers of anything but rather to spark their imagination and open their minds to new possibilities.