Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, in 1946, and was educated in England, Zimbabwe and Australia, before his family put down roots in North Wales. He graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English in 1968 and became a middle-school teacher. During this period he wrote plays on which some of his later novels came to be based. He then worked as a part-time senior lecturer in English at Westminster College, Oxford, where he specialised in oral storytelling.
Much of Philip Pullman's work was originally considered to be fiction for young adults, however the 'His Dark Materials' series is popular amongst adults and children alike, and is widely considered to be suitable for all ages. It has drawn comparisons to C.S. Lewis' 'Narnia' series and the 'Middle-Earth' series by J.R.R. Tolkien. Philip Pullman currently lives in Oxford and, when he's not writing books, he likes to draw and to make things out of wood.
Author's Comment: As a passionate believer in the democracy of reading, I don't think it's the task of the author of a book to tell the reader what it means.
The meaning of a story emerges in the meeting between the words on the page and the thoughts in the reader's mind. So when people ask me what I meant by this story, or what was the message I was trying to convey in that one, I have to explain that I'm not going to explain.
Anyway, I'm not in the message business; I'm in the "Once upon a time" business. [Source]