Costa Book Award Winner Announced

In Book Review on January 27, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Pure by Andrew Miller - Costa Book of the YearCongratulations to Andrew Miller author of Pure, winner of the Costa Book Awards 2012.

 Pure set in 1785 and follows the story of a young engineer, Jean-Baptiste Baratte, – charged with demolishing Paris’s oldest cemetery and removing the corpses.

A year of bones, of grave-dirt, relentless work. Of mummified corpses and chanting priests. A year of rape, suicide, sudden death. Of friendship too. Of desire. Of love… A year unlike any other he has lived. Deep in the heart of Paris, its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing, tainting the very breath of those who live nearby. Into their midst comes Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a young, provincial engineer charged by the king with demolishing it. At first Baratte sees this as a chance to clear the burden of history, a fitting task for a modern man of reason. But before long, he begins to suspect that the destruction of the cemetery might be a prelude to his own.

Geordie Greig, editor of the London Evening Standard, and chair of the judges, said the prize, which chooses the best overall book from five categories – novel, biography, poetry, children’s novel and first novel – was one which came “with a sense of impossibility about it. You’re not just comparing apples and oranges, it feels like you’re comparing bananas and chicken curry. It makes the task difficult and interesting.”



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