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John Vaillant won the Pearson Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize for his first book of nonfiction, The Golden Spruce. He is a past recipient of the Governor General’s Literary Award, the BC National Award for Canadian Nonfiction, and the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The Walrus, among others. The Jaguar’s Children is his first novel. Vaillant lives in Vancouver.

Award History

2015 Finalist

Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
for The Jaguar’s Children

Jury Citation

The Jaguar’s Childrenis a haunting and exquisitely written book of the moment: a powerful novel about the repercussions of global inequity, human indecency, and an individual’s choices in the face of despair. John Vaillant gives us the story of Hector – a Zapotec smuggling himself out of Mexico in search of a better life. Balancing the poignant and luminous with the horrific is no easy feat butThe Jaguar’s Childrendoes just that. A praiseworthy addition to Vaillant’s already established standing as one of our very best writers. — 2015 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Aislinn HUnter, Shani Mootoo, and Richard Wagamese)

2005 Winner

Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
for The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed

Jury Citation

“The wonder of The Golden Spruce is how author John Vaillant, in beautiful language, weaves a convergence of geography and greed, mythology and madness into a spectacular thriller. The story of this legendary tree on the Queen Charlotte Islands resonates marvellously with Canadian and, indeed, universal significance.” – 2005 Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize Jury (Ernest Hillen, Myrna Kostash, and Paula Todd)

Works recognized by WT

The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed