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John Vaillant’s real-life thriller about a man-eating Siberian tiger has won Canada’s richest prize for non-fiction. The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival was named the winner of British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction on Monday. The prize is worth $40,000.

“I’m very honoured that the judges would be moved by a story from so far away by people who are so unknown to us in so many ways who live in such courageously anonymous ways,” Vaillant said after being announced the winner.

“It is a page-turner,” said jury chair Philip Marchand during an interview. “It was really such a compelling story, combined with his facility of language and style and all the narrative gifts that you would want in a story like this.”

Vaillant’s book follows the extraordinary man-against-tiger story, which began in late 1997 in Russia’s far-east Primorye region. A tiger, who had earlier been shot and wounded, was killing people. The massive creature, as it turned out, was not just hurt and hungry; he was seeking revenge. The story’s human protagonist is Yuri Trush, a middle-aged former soldier who heads one of the region’s Inspection Tiger Units and is charged with tracking down the tiger before it kills again.

- The Globe & Mail  [link]

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Vancouver's John Vaillant has won British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction for his book The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival.

The $40,000 award, Canada's richest prize for non-fiction, was presented to Vaillant on Monday in Vancouver.

- CBC  [link]

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The tale of a man-eating tiger terrorizing a remote village in the far reaches of eastern Russia was awarded Canada’s largest prize for non-fiction. John Vaillant’s acclaimed book, The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival, won British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, it was announced on Monday.

Described by the jury as “a gripping story about man in conflict with nature,” The Tiger tells the story of Yuri Trush, a tracker tasked with hunting down an Amur (Siberian) tiger who has already killed two men. To research the book, he travelled to the Primorye region of Russia, on the Sea of Japan, a harsh, desolate, yet beautiful, part of the world that is home to an ever-dwindling number of tigers. The book, which was inspired by a 2005 documentary by Sasha Snow called Conflict Tiger, has been optioned by Brad Pitt’s production company; at one point, Darren Aronofsky was rumoured to direct.

- National Post  [link]

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Back in November, as CBC Radio’s “Canada Reads” competition was starting on its 10th anniversary year, the writer Dave Bidini suggested on his Facebook page that it was time to let non-fiction in. A stream of comments followed. One non-fiction writer complained of the “abundance of awards” available to works of fiction. Another, one of the country’s champions of Can Lit, asked: “Why should the novelists have all the fun?”

- National Post  [link]

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Vancouver's John Vaillant has won British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction for his book The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival.

The Tiger is the story of a man-eating tiger on the prowl outside a remote village in Russia's Far East. A team of men and their dogs hunt the tiger on foot through the forest in the brutal cold.

They discover that the tiger is engaged in a vendetta, and the story becomes a battle for survival between the two main characters: Yuri Trush, the lead tracker, and the tiger itself.

"It's a genuine surprise to be winning this award," Vaillant told The Vancouver Sun in an interview. "I meant what I said to the judges - I don't know how you choose in a situation like this. I feel honoured and also really humbled because I have an awful lot of respect for the other authors."

- The Vancouver Sun  [link]

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No matter which of the four short-listed authors for the $40,000 British Columbia Award for Canadian Non-Fiction ultimately wins the prize in Vancouver this Monday, corks will pop on King Street East in Toronto, home of Random House of Canada and its affiliate, Knopf Canada, where all four finalists published their nominated books.

- The Globe & Mail  [link]

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Premier Gordon Campbell sees parallels between author James FitzGerald’s battle to redeem his suicidal father’s tortured past and his own father’s suicide in 1961, when he was 13.

- Douglas Todd, The Search  [link]

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Away from the political trenches, Mr. Campbell is a voracious reader and the prime mover behind the province’s annual $40,000 prize awarded to Canada’s best non-fiction book. (Alas, my bound collection of B.C. Notebooks was shunted into the fiction category.)

- The Globe & Mail  [link]

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2015 Award Finalists
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BC's National Award for Non-Fiction information


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