A True Story from a Hotter World – Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction
by Vaillant, John | Literature & literary studies
Published 10/08/2023 by Hodder & Stoughton (Sceptre) in the United Kingdom
Hardback | 432 pages
***AN INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER****Shortlisted for the BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION*’Astounding on every page. John Vaillant is one of the great poetic chroniclers of the natural world’ David Wallace-Wells’No book feels timelier than John Vaillant’s Fire Weather . . . an adrenaline-soaked nightmare that is impossible to put down’ Cal Flyn, The Times
A gripping account of this century’s most intense urban fire, and a panoramic exploration of the rapidly changing relationship between humanity and fire’s fierce energy.
In May 2016, Fort McMurray, Alberta, the hub of Canada’s oil industry, was overrun by wildfire. The multi-billion-dollar disaster turned entire neighbourhoods into firebombs and drove 90,000 people from their homes in a single afternoon. Through the story of this apocalyptic conflagration, John Vaillant explores the past and the future of our ever-hotter, more flammable world.
For hundreds of millennia, fire has been a partner in our evolution, shaping culture and civilization. Yet in our age of intensifying climate change, we are seeing its destructive power unleashed in ways never before witnessed by human beings. With masterly prose and cinematic style, Vaillant delves into the intertwined histories of the oil industry and climate science, the unprecedented devastation wrought by modern wildfires, and the lives forever changed by these disasters. Fire Weather is urgent reading for our new century of fire.
‘A towering achievement; an immense work of research, reflection and imagination’ Robert Macfarlane