Philip Pullman today received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award at the open-air museum of Skansen in Stockholm. The award was presented by HRH Crown Princess Victoria in the presence of the Minister for Culture, Leif Pagrotsky.
The citation for the award calls him 'a master storyteller in a number of genres, from historical novels and fantasy to social realism and highly amusing parodies... Through his strong characters he stands firmly on the side of young people, ruthlessly questioning authority and proclaiming humanism and the power of love whilst maintaining an optimistic belief in the child even in the darkest of situations.'
Philip Pullman was last week feted at an event at the British Library in London and congratulated for his work by the culture secretary Tessa Jowell, 'on behalf of the government'. He has recently called for the setting up of a suitable award such as a medal for lifetime achievement in literature for children and young people. He pointed out that there were some who were very deserving of the Children's Laureate honour, but were physically unable to carry out the tasks that it required.
A former teacher and author of a range of books for children and young people, including the His Dark Materials trilogy, and a winner of the Whitbread Award, Pullman shares the Astrid Lindgren Award, the world's most valuable for children's literature, with Japanese illustrator Ryoji Arai.