In the Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed, John Vaillant uncovers the story of the demise of one of British Columbia's most legendary trees.
On a winter night in 1997, a timber scout named Grant Hadwin committed an act of shocking violence in the mythic Queen Charlotte Islands. His victim was legendary: a unique 300-year-old Sitka spruce tree, fifty metres tall and covered with luminous golden needles.
In a bizarre environmental protest, Hadwin attacked the tree with a chainsaw. Two days later, it fell, horrifying an entire community. Not only was the golden spruce a scientific marvel and a tourist attraction, it was sacred to the Haida people and beloved by local loggers. Shortly after confessing to the crime, Hadwin disappeared under suspicious circumstances and is missing to this day.
As John Vaillant deftly braids together the strands of this thrilling mystery, he brings to life the ancient beauty of the coastal wilderness, the historical collision of Europeans and the Haida, and the harrowing world of logging—the most dangerous land-based job in North America.
Why we chose it
In this gripping true story, John Vaillant teaches us about an important piece of the history of British Columbia's forests, and begs us to question our relationship to the trees.
About John Vaillant
John Vaillant is an American-Canadian author and journalist. He has published multiple works of fiction and non-fiction. The Golden Spruce, was a #1 national bestseller, winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction, the Pearson Writer's Trust Non-Fiction Award and the Roderick Haig Brown Regional Prize. The Tiger was a #1 national bestseller, a Canada Reads selection, a Globe and Mail Best Book, and won the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, the Prix Bouvier, the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize, the CBA Libris Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year and the CBC Bookie Award for Best Overall Book. It has been translated into 15 languages.
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