A new collection of essays by Philip Pullman was one of the highlights at a showcase presented yesterday (14th November) by David Fickling Books (DFB).
The publisher will next year publish Daemon Voices: Essays on Storytelling, a collection of Pullman’s previously published articles and essays about stories and the art of storytelling. In the book, his first non-fiction title, Pullman explores his own craft as well as looking at the art behind other stories such as Oliver Twist and Paradise Lost.
Presenting the book at the showcase, Pullman said one of the articles in the book was inspired by an interview he read with Richard Dawkins, where Dawkins expressed concern over fairy tales giving children a false belief in magic.
“I started to think about whether children believe in what they read in fairytales or not,” said Pullman. “I think reading is like playing or pretending. I used to pretend to be Davy Crockett but I always knew I wasn’t him. By playing out what I’d seen on the screen my mind experienced that heroism and what it was like to be brave. Those experiences are part of our moral education.”
Simon Mason, m.d. at DFB, said the book is “arresting and brilliant… a meditation in storytelling by one of our greatest storytellers”.
Another new title announced at the showcase was the new Waitrose tie-in, written by Michael Morpurgo. Coming Home, illustrated by Kerry Hyndman and published today (15th November), is a picture book about a robin who makes its way home for Christmas and a mince pie.
DFB published the book after being approached by Waitrose, who wanted a publisher to create a book around its #HomeForChristmas campaign. It will retail in all Waitrose shops as well as Waterstones and independent bookshops.
Morpurgo said he wanted to take part because “we are all living through a time of great migration so a story about a journey of struggle felt very apt… also I like robins and I like mince pies”.
Other authors whose books were presented at the showcase included Lissa Evans and Lisa Williamson.