Every word counts

Talk London Literature Festival: Philip Pullman - La Belle Sauvage

London Literature Festival: Philip Pullman - La Belle Sauvage

Key facts

Genre: Talk with live subtitling


Find out why Philip Pullman has returned to the realm of his first book, His Dark Materials. In this exclusive London launch of the highly anticipated La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One, Pullman reveals why he has come back to much-loved character Lyra Belacqua’s world 22 years after the first book.

Centring on the much-loved character, Lyra Belacqua, the new novel is set 10 years before Northern Lights, and delves deeper into the world of alethiometers, daemons and the Magisterium, while also introducing a host of new characters, including a new hero.

In this evening, Pullman reflects on his writing process, what drew him back to Lyra’s world 22 years after Northern Lights was first published, and why the struggle for freedom of expression against despotic rulers that has been at the heart of his books, is more pressing now than ever. With totalitarian tendencies on the rise, what are the parallels with Lyra’s world and our own, and how can the substance of dust illuminate our present times?

As Pullman himself comments:
‘Why return to Lyra’s world? Dust. Questions about that mysterious and troubling substance were already causing strife 10 years before His Dark Materials, and at the centre of The Book of Dust is the struggle between a despotic and totalitarian organisation, which wants to stifle speculation and enquiry, and those who believe thought and speech should be free. The idea of Dust suffused His Dark Materials. Little by little through that story the idea of what Dust was became clearer and clearer, but I always wanted to return to it and discover more.’

Booking information
This event will have live subtitles and BSL interpretation. To join the Southbank Centre's free Access List email accesslist@southbankcentre.co.uk or call their Ticket Office on 020 7960 4200. Tickets range from £20-£45. Concs 50% (limited availability).

Event details

Fri 20 Oct 2017, 7:30pm

Live subtitling

Venue details

Royal Festival Hall (Pullman)
The Arts Council
The Arts Council
The Arts Council