John Vaillant

John Vaillant is an author and freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and the Guardian, among others. His first book, The Golden Spruce (Knopf, 2005), was a bestseller and won several awards, including the Governor General’s and Writers’Trust awards for non-fiction (Canada). His second nonfiction book, The Tiger (Knopf, 2010), won the B.C. Achievement Award for Non-Fiction, was a bestseller selected for Canada Reads, and has been published in 16 languages.  In 2014 Vaillant won the Windham-Campbell Prize, a global award for non-fiction. In 2015, he published his first work of fictionThe Jaguar’s Children (Knopf), which was long-listed for the Dublin IMPAC and Kirkus Fiction Prizes, and was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His latest book, Fire Weather (Knopf, 2023), is a #1 national bestseller in Canada, and a finalist for the National Book Award (US), the Baillie Gifford Prize (UK), the Writers‘ Trust Nonfiction Prize (Canada), and a Banff Mountain Book Award.



In Fire Weather, John Vaillant’s latest book and a finalist for the 2023 National Book Award non-fiction award, we learn how Canada’s Fort McMurray went from vibrant boom town to a cinder pile ravaged by devastating firestorms, sparked from a small wildfire and fueled by climate change.  It’s a cautionary, riveting tale masterfully told and one that lays bare the risks of ignoring our world’s changing weather patterns.


Photo credit – John Sinal