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The Book of Dust: Philip Pullman in Conversation

Listen to The Book of Dust: Philip Pullman in Conversation

In this episode, Philip Pullman appears live via videolink (and later, telephone) for a conversation with Michael Williams. They discuss daemons in literature – and in the wider world – today.

Photo of Michael Williams and Philip Pullman in conversation

Michael Williams and Philip Pullman in conversation — Photo: Sophie Quick

Engrossing, complex and subversive, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is rich in myth and metaphysics.

The series, which follows the adventures of intrepid heroine Lyra Belacqua, won international acclaim, drew the ire of religious conservatives and has been translated into 40 languages. Pullman is a master storyteller and living legend, whose books continue to fascinate children and adults around the world.

It may have been 17 years since the last His Dark Materials book, but Pullman’s themes of totalitarianism, original sin and dark matter feel more pertinent today than ever. His feverishly anticipated new release, The Book of Dust, is neither prequel nor sequel but ‘equal’ to the trilogy, sitting alongside it, and expanding upon many of the same ideas.

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The Book of Dust: Philip Pullman


Portrait of Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman is one of the most highly respected children's authors writing today. Winner of many prestigious awards, including the Carnegie of Carnegies and the Whitbread Award, Pullman’s epic fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials has been acclaimed as a modern classic. It has sold 17.5 million copies worldwide and been translated into 40 languages. In 2005 he was awarded the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. He lives in Oxford.

Portrait of Michael Williams

Michael Williams

Michael Williams is the Director of the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne. He has worked at the Wheeler Centre since inception in 2009, when he was hired as the Head of Programming before being appointed as Director in September 2011.

He has hosted Blueprint for Living (2015–2016), then Talkfest (2017–2019), on ABC RN. He remains a regular guest on ABC Radio and TV. Michael has also worked as a Breakfast presenter for Melbourne’s 3RRR, as a member of the Australia Council’s Literature Board, in publishing and has written extensively for the Guardian, the AgeSydney Morning HeraldAustralian and elsewhere.

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