Philip Pullman's new three-part work

Posted on Friday, May 26, 2017

The first volume of Philip Pullman's three-part work The Book of Dust will be called La Belle Sauvage and it will be published on 20 October. The story will follow 11-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his daemon, Asta. You can watch a short video of Pullman talking about The Book of Dust, below.

La Belle Sauvage will be priced at a hefty 20 and will be available in hardback and as an ebook, published by David Fickling Books and Penguin Random House Children's in the UK and Random House Children's Books in the US. In the first extract from La Belle Sauvage, now available on Philip Pullman's website (see link, below), readers are introduced to the story's hero: 11-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his daemon, Asta, along with his boat La Belle Sauvage. It is revealed that Lyra is being sheltered - from her own father - by the nuns at Godstow Priory near Oxford. The extract comes from chapter 10, where Malcolm is persuaded to help Lord Asriel secretly see his infant daughter. On the title, Pullman says, "Who or what is La Belle Sauvage? She is a boat, a canoe to be precise, and her owner is a boy, Malcolm Polstead, the hero of this story whom we have seen in an earlier part of Lyra's story (if we were paying attention. He only had a walk-on part there). The canoe is important in this part of The Book of Dust, because some of the story is set during a massive flood." Two decades after Northern Lights (The Golden Compass in the US) was published in 1995, The Book of Dust (#BookofDust) will return to the parallel world that has enthralled readers young and old. La Belle Sauvage is set 10 years before Northern Lights and centers on the much-beloved Lyra Belacqua. Alethiometers, daemons, and the Magisterium all return to play their part. The Book of Dust is described as neither a sequel nor a prequel by Pulllman, but as a companion, set at the same time as His Dark Materials. In a short film released by his publisher (see link, below), Pullman revealed the ingredient for success behind His Dark Materials: Lyra's ordinariness. He says: "When I wrote the first book of His Dark Materials - sometimes called Northern Lights, sometimes called The Golden Compass - I certainly didn't anticipate that so many people would find Lyra as interesting a character as I did. "The thing about Lyra is that she's not a special child. She's not especially gifted or talented - she's a very ordinary child. When I was a teacher, I taught many girls who were like Lyra. They were brave, inquisitive, curious, disobedient: all those interesting things for storytellers. "I think the reason that people have read this long and complicated story is because they're with Lyra. She doesn't know the things that are threatening her and she's in the same position as the reader, because the reader shares her sense of danger and excitement and curiosity about what's going to happen next. I hope the same thing will be true of Malcolm in La Belle Sauvage." David Fickling - Pullman's long-term editor - said: "There is a mystery here, an exciting mystery and I urge any reader to set out on the adventure. You will not be disappointed. The Book of Dust is magnificent." Published between 1995 and 2000, Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy is widely regarded as a modern classic. The first book of Pullman's trilogy - Northern Lights or The Golden Compass - has sold more than 17.5 million copies in over 40 languages. His Dark Materials will be featured in a new BBC One adaptation in 2018, produced by Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema.

External Link