British novelist Andrew Miller defeated Man Booker Prize winner Julian Barnes in the race for best novel of 2011 at the Costa Book Awards on Tuesday.
, a period novel set in Paris on the eve of the French Revolution, beat out Barnes's acclaimed The Sense of an Ending
, which scooped up 2011's prestigious Man Booker Prize and marked Barnes's first win after being shortlisted for the award four times.
The judges described Miller's novel, about a young engineer tasked with the grim job of demolishing an overflowing Parisian cemetery, as "a structurally and stylistically flawless historical novel."
Miller also edged out Scottish writer John Burnside's A Summer of Drowning
and Louisa Young's First World War romance My Dear I Wanted to Tell You
Canadian-born writer Moira Young won the Costa Book Award for children's literature for her debut novel, Blood Red Road.
Originally from New Westminster, B.C., Moira Young started out 25
years ago as an actress and dancer, then retrained as an opera singer
before moving to the U.K., where she took up writing.
Blood Red Road is set in a post-apocalyptic
world and follows the adventures of a naive 18-year-old girl from an
isolated farm as she sets out to find her kidnapped twin brother.Other individual category winners included:
Each category winner will receive £5,000 ($7,885 CAD) and is in the running for the title of 2011 Costa Book of the Year, which features £30,000 ($47,308) in prize money. The final winner will be announced in London on Jan. 24.