Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller won the 2011 Costa Book of the Year award for his novel, Pure, and was presented with the overall prize and a cheque for £30,000.

He beat the bookmakers' odds-on favourite, poet and debut biographer Matthew Hollis for his work Now All Roads Lead to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy for The Bees, debut writer Christie Watson for Tiny Sunbirds Far Away and first-time author, Moira Young for Blood Red Road.

Set in pre-revolutionary Paris in 1785, Pure is the story of Jean-Baptiste Baratte, an ambitious young engineer, who is assigned the task of emptying the noxious, overflowing Parisian cemetery Les Innocents, and of demolishing its church.

Andrew Miller's first novel, Ingenious Pain, won the Impac Dublin prize and the James Tait Black award. In 2001, his novel Oxygen was shortlisted for the Booker and Whitbread (forerunner of the Costa) novel prize.

Geordie Grieg, chair of the judging panel, said Pure was 'a rich and brilliant historical novel of death and superstition. It is a morality tale which engrosses with its vivid evocation of pre-revolutionary France.'

See the video clip for Andrew's memories of his time in Lancaster.