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Philip Pullman includes A Voyage to Arcturus in his "Writer's Table"
31 August 2008
Philip Pullman

Author of the highly successful His Dark Materials trilogy, Philip Pullman, has chosen A Voyage to Arcturus as one of the forty titles on his "Writer's Table". The Writer's Table is a Waterstones promotion in which big-name authors are invited to recommend a selection of forty books, which will presumably be laid out on the "3-for-2 deal" style of table in Waterstones' UK bookshops.

The full list of Pullman's selection can be found on the Waterstone's site. Pullman explains how he arrived at his choices in this article from The Times:

One interesting thing was the growing realisation that my list was less about literature than about story, or about something else that wasn't fine writing, but was more important. Some of these books are badly written, but unforgettable: Lovecraft's stories, or David Lindsay's extraordinary A Voyage to Arcturus.

Pullman has, elsewhere (in this interview snippet from BBC4's Open Book, for instance), distanced himself from fantasy as a genre (even whilst praising A Voyage to Arcturus), so it's nice to see Lovecraft, M R James, James Hogg and H G Wells as well as Lindsay on the list, which has a variety of graphic novels, non-fiction, poetry and novels, none of which, really, can be classed among the "usual suspects", so it's worth a look.

The Philip Pullman's "Writer's Table" promotion is due to go live on the 4th of September.


Postscript: One aspect of this news item — that phrase "badly written" — led me to add an opinion piece to this site, "Is David Lindsay a Bad Writer?"

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