The Golden Spruce (book)
|Publisher||W. W. Norton & Company|
|May 17, 2005|
|Media type||Print (hardcover), audiobook, e-book|
|Followed by||The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival|
While researching the book, Vaillant learned that the oral tradition surrounding The Golden Spruce is considered the property of various clans throughout the Pacific Northwest and requires permission to retell. Speaking about the challenge of writing a book where principal characters are absent or dead, Vaillant said, "Virtually everyone leaves a trail behind them in the form of tracks, objects, relationships, official documents, and the memories of others."
The book tells the story of Kiidk'yaas, or The Golden Spruce, which was a Sitka Spruce tree venerated by the Haida people. The tree itself contained a genetic mutation causing it to appear golden in color. It was felled in Haida Gwaii by environmentalist Grant Hadwin.
From Publishers Weekly:
- "The felling of a celebrated giant golden spruce tree in British Columbia's Queen Charlotte Islands takes on a potent symbolism in this probing study of an unprecedented act of eco-vandalism...It is also, in his telling, a land of virtually infinite natural resources overmatched by an even greater human rapaciousness."
The Sydney Morning Herald described the book as, "A deep-reaching account of the clash between wilderness values, the voracious logging industry, white settlers, and first nations people." The New York Times said the book, "explore[s] the relationship between man and nature with lush language and page-turning suspense." It has drawn comparisons to Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, The Hot Zone by Richard Preston, H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald and Flash Boys by Michael Lewis.
In 2016, the book was adapted into a feature-length documentary titled Hadwin’s Judgement by filmmaker Sasha Snow. It was the second collaboration between Snow and Vaillant; Snow's 2006 documentary Conflict Tiger was the source of inspiration for Vaillant's 2010 book The Tiger. The film premiered at The Globe Theater in Calgary, Alberta on 22 January 2016.
- Amanda Eyre Ward (13 February 2015). "'The Jaguar's Children,' by John Vaillant". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Joy Tipping (1 February 2015). "Fiction review: 'The Jaguar's Children' by John Vaillant". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Mark Medley (25 March 2017). "The harsh reality of non-fiction writing". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Christine Lyon (12 February 2016). "The Golden Spruce ponders the big questions". North Shore News. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Jeanie Barone (6 December 2017). "A Land Where Writers Are Revered". HuffPost. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Ian Crouch (2 September 2010). "The Exchange: John Vaillant on the Siberian Tiger". The New Yorker. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Kurt Armstrong (1 May 2012). "When I Was A Child I Read Books by Marilynne Robinson". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Michelle Norris (3 June 2005). "Killing the Golden Spruce". NPR. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Jason Schreurs (26 February 2016). "Career change births award-winning author John Vaillant". Powel River Peak. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- "THE GOLDEN SPRUCE: A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- T'Cha Dunlevy (24 November 2015). "Movie review: One man's desperate act revisited in Hadwin's Judgement". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Tim Cope (20 March 2014). "Tim Cope: books that changed me". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Les Roka (12 April 2018). "Jonathon Thompson's River of Lost Souls superbly probes long historical chain leading to Gold King Mine disaster". The Utah Review. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- J.R. McConvey (13 March 2015). "H is for Hawk sends you into a variegated gyre of memory, emotion and description". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Eric Volmers (21 January 2016). "Documentary chronicles the strange tale of logger-turned-environmentalist Grant Hadwin". The Calgary Herald. Retrieved 4 May 2018.