Andrew Miller talks to fellow writer Jem Poster about his 2012 Costa Book of the Year, Pure. The novel is set in a Parisian cemetery in the run-up to the French Revolution. It is the story of an engineer ordered by the king to destroy a cemetery overflowing with the dead. Pure was described as a ‘vivid rendition’ of the era by the Costa judges.
Miller’s first novel, Ingenious Pain, was published in 1997 and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Grinzane Cavour prize in Italy. He has since written five novels: Casanova, Oxygen, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Booker Prize in 2001, The Optimists, One Morning Like a Bird, and Pure.
Poster is a poet and novelist, academic director of the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival, and former professor and chair of creative writing at Aberystwyth University.