Philip Pullman To Name New Character After Girl Killed in Grenfell Tower Fire
A 15-year-old teenage girl who died in the Grenfell Tower fire will be immortalised in print when she becomes a character in Philip Pullman’s next book series.
The ‘Northern Lights’ author will commemorate Nur Huda el-Wahabi after her former school teacher James Clements won a bid of £1,500 in the Authors for Grenfell Tower Auction.
Nur Huda will be named in the second book of the next Pullman trilogy, ‘The Book Of Dust’.
“The real Nur Huda was an ex-pupil of mine who lived in Grenfell Tower and didn’t make it out of the building that night,” Clements wrote.
“A life that was so full of promise has been cut short in the most terrible way. As well as raising some money, this would mean her name would live on. Plus, Nur Huda is a pretty cool name for a character.”
Mr Clements taught Nur Huda at Thomas Hones primary school when she was nine and 11.
He urged others to outbid him by “lots” as it was such an important cause, but his emotional plea moved the author.
“I’ve ‘sold’ characters’ names before, but I’m not a fast writer and sometimes people have to wait a long time to find their names in print,” Pullman told The Guardian after his slot in the Auction surpassed £18,000.
So far, the appeal has raised more than £62,000 for the British Red Cross London Fire Relief Fund.
Other auction slots available include a booking reading from David Walliams, signed books from Stanley Tucci and Tim Minchin, advice from literary agents and writing retreats.
The fundraiser was launched a week ago via Twitter. It was a team effort between the authors Harriet Reuter Hapgood and Sara Barnard, as well as literary agent Molly Ker Hawn, whose 12-year-old daughter went to school with some of the children on the same estate as Grenfell Tower.
There are still more than 650 lots open. Bidding ends at 8pm tonight.