As one of the six authors shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction, we are delighted to welcome Andrew to the Borders Book Festival, not only to take part in the prize ceremony, but also to do a solo event about his hugely popular sixth novel, Pure…..
Deep in the heart of Paris, its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing. Its stench hangs in the air, tainting the very breath of those who live nearby. The over-filled graves pop and burst, filling people's basements with bones and spreading disease across the capital. But the cemetery's roots are embedded deep in the hearts and minds of the people, for whom the graveyard has long provided a backdrop to their daily lives.
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.
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.
Pure, is an amazing and evocative historical novel, ‘His story is so gripping that you will put your life on hold to finish it’, wrote the reviewer from the Times.
Andrew Miller was born in Bristol in 1960; he has lived in Spain, Japan, Ireland and France and now resides in Somerset. He has written six novels including Pure: His first novel, Ingenious Pain, was published in 1997 and was immediately acclaimed as the debut of an outstanding new writer. It won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, 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 of the Year Award and the Booker Prize in 2001, The Optimists, One Morning Like a Bird and Pure, which in January this year was awarded the prestigious Costa Prize.
As well as his own event, Andrew will also join three of the other shortlisted authors in a panel event about historical fiction.
You can see Andrew talk about Pure on Saturday 16th June in the Scottish Borders Brewery Marquee at 7.45pm
Andrew will also be at the Walter Scott Prize event on Saturday 16th June at 1.30pm in the Festival Marquee
Britain’s Best Historical Fiction is taking place on Saturday 16th June at 3.00pm in the Festival Marquee