John Vaillant

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John H. Vaillant
Vaillant at the 2015 Texas Book Festival
Vaillant at the 2015 Texas Book Festival
BornJune 4, 1962
Cambridge, Massachusetts
John Vaillant on Bookbits radio talks about The Tiger.

John Vaillant is an American writer and journalist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and Outside. He has written both non-fiction and fiction books.

Personal life[edit]

Vaillant was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has lived in Vancouver since 1998.[1]

Writing career[edit]

His first book, The Golden Spruce,[2] dealt with the felling of the Golden Spruce or Kiidk'yaas on Haida Gwaii by Grant Hadwin.

His 2010 work, The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival is about a man-eating tiger incident that happened in the 1990s in Russia's Far Eastern Primorsky Krai, where most of the world's Amur tigers live. It is a mixture of investigative journalism, social history, geography and natural writing. It won a number of awards and was selected for the 2012 edition of CBC Radio's Canada Reads, defended by lawyer and television personality Anne-France Goldwater.

His next book was The Jaguar's Children (2015), a novel about an undocumented Mexican immigrant trapped inside the empty tank of a water truck that has been abandoned in the desert by human smugglers. The novel was a shortlisted nominee for the 2015 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.[3] The Jaguar's Children received positive reviews from the New York Times and NPR.[4][5]

Writing style[edit]

Vaillant is known for focusing on environmental issues - such as trees in the northwest, nearly-extinct tigers, and GMO corn in Mexico - and mixing that with stories about crime or violence.

Awards and honors[edit]


Vaillant is the author of three books:

  • The Jaguar's Children. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2015. ISBN 978-0544315495.
  • The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 2010. ISBN 978-0307268938.
  • The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed. W. W. Norton & Company. 2005. ISBN 978-0393058871.


  1. ^ "Tiger tale takes richest non-fiction prize". The Globe and Mail, January 31, 2011.
  2. ^ "Review of The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed by John Valliant". Publishers Weekly. 14 February 2005.
  3. ^ "Globe columnist among Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize nominees". The Globe and Mail, September 29, 2015.
  4. ^ Amanda Eyre Ward (13 February 2015). "'The Jaguar's Children,' by John Vaillant". New York Times. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  5. ^ Alan Cheuse (20 January 2015). "'The Jaguar's Children' Is Ripped From Heartbreaking Headlines". NPR. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  6. ^ "John Vaillant's The Tiger wins B.C.'s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction" Archived 2011-03-08 at the Wayback Machine.. The Georgia Straight, February 1, 2010.
  7. ^ "Prize Citation for John Vaillant". Windham–Campbell Literature Prize. March 7, 2014. Retrieved March 8, 2014.

External links[edit]