Philip Pullman’s latest novel has been named the Book of the Year by book chain Waterstones.
The Oxford author returned to the world of His Dark Materials with the publication La Belle Sauvage in October, 17 years after he finished the original trilogy.
The 71-year-old pipped six other candidates to the award after Waterstones staff nominated books they found “truly outstanding and which they have felt most pride in recommending and selling”.
Mr Pullman told the BBC he was “very happy” to be awarded a prize given by a bookseller.
He said: “Booksellers are an absolutely necessary part of the complex ecology of the book world.
“These days the pressure of so many kinds of digital and social and economic and political change is forcing the world of books, like so many others, to evolve more swiftly than is sometimes comfortable.”
Waterstones managing director James Daunt said: “This is a winner that is going to bring a lot of pleasure to an ever-widening audience and we could not be more pleased to play our part in its success.”
Visit tinyurl.com/yatpd88a for a special edition of Mr Pullman’s latest hit.