John Vaillant’s Fire Weather: A True Story From a Hotter World, has won the prestigious Baillie Gifford Prize for nonfiction. Per Frederick Studemann, chair of judges for the prize:
Fire Weather brings together a series of harrowing human stories with science and geo-economics, in an extraordinary and elegantly rendered account of a terrifying climate disaster that engulfed a community and industry, underscoring our toxic relationship with fossil fuels. Moving back and forth in time, across subjects, and from the particular to the global, this meticulously researched, thrillingly told book forces readers to engage with one of the most urgent issues of our time.
The climate disaster in question is the 2016 wildfire that swept through Fort McMurray, in Alberta, Canada, swallowing half a million acres of land and displacing nearly 100,000 people. You can read an excerpt from Fire Weather here.
The Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction is awarded annually, and comes with a £50,000 prize.