John Vaillant of Vancouver has won the B.C. National Non-Fiction Award for his latest book. ((B.C. Achievement Foundation))

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.

Vaillant's gripping tale of a Siberian tiger who becomes a real man-hunter examines issues of conservation and the clash between people living in poverty and animals struggling to survive. It is set in a remote part of Russia near the Chinese border.

Vaillant portrays the tiger as a canny super-predator, more canny even than the trained hunter who tracks the creature after it kills two men, believing it to be bent on vengeance.

The author said the book was inspired by a 2005 documentary by Sasha Snow called Conflict Tiger.


The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival is the winning book. ((Knopf Canada) )

The Tiger is "a page-turner that in the end brings us to understand the tiger, probably the most intelligent super-predator in the world," the jury said. "Superbly written and highly enlightening, this is a gripping story about man in conflict with nature."

Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky has already approached Vaillant about making a film out of his book.

Vaillant won over Stevie Cameron's On the Farm, about the Pickford serial murder case, Charles Foran's biography of Mordecai Richler and What Disturbs Our Blood by James FitzGerald.

Vaillant won the Writers' Trust Award and the Governor-General's Literary Award for his 2005 book The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed.

He has written for The Walrus, Outside, National Geographic and The New Yorker.