Author of First-Year Reading Experience Book to Speak at UM

September 04, 2015

MISSOULA Award-winning author John Vaillant will visit the University of Montana this month to discuss his book, “The Tiger,” the 2015 selection for UM’s First-Year Reading Experience.

Vaillant will speak about his book to the campus community at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, in the Dennison Theatre. The lecture is free and open to the public. He also will hold a special Q-and-A forum for first-year students at 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, in the University Center Theater.

All first-year students at UM are invited to participate in the First-Year Reading Experience. The program provides incoming students with a shared intellectual experience to encourage discussion, advance critical thinking and develop a sense of community.

“The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival” details the hunt for a man-eating Amur tiger in the remote Primorye region of Russia’s eastern border in the 1990s. The nonfiction work was published in 2010 and addresses conservation and natural resources; culture and place; and the human-environment relationship, among other themes.

“The Tiger” earned the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Nonfiction, CBC Book Award for “Best Overall Book,” Hubert Evans Nonfiction Prize, Banff Mountain Festival Special Jury Award, CBA Libris Award for Nonfiction, Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award and Prix Nicolas Bouvier. In 2014, Vaillant received a Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prize in Nonfiction.

The book will be used and referenced in classes across campus. It is available for purchase at The Bookstore at UM, located in the UC.

Vaillant is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, National Geographic and Outside, among others. His first book, “The Golden Spruce,” was a best-seller and won several awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Nonfiction (Canada). His latest book, a novel, is “The Jaguar’s Children.”

First-year UM students are invited to participate in a writing contest based on the book and interactions with the author during his campus visit.

For more information, visit or email UM’s First-Year Reading Experience Chair Megan Stark at

Contact: Megan Stark, undergraduate services and outreach librarian, 406-243-2864,