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First-Year Reading Experience: 2015

Welcome! This site is for students participating in the First-Year Reading Experience at UM.

The Book

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 published in 2010 addresses conservation and natural resources, culture and place, and the human-environment relationship, among other themes.

The Tiger received the B.C. National Book Award for Non-Fiction, CBC Award for ‘Best Overall Book’, Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Award, Banff Mountain Festival Special Jury Prize, CBA Libris Award for Non-Fiction, Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, and Prix Nicolas Bouvier. In 2014 Vaillant received a Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prize in Non-Fiction.

Borrow or Buy Vaillant's Books

What is the First-Year Reading Experience?

The purpose of the First-Year Reading Experience is to provide you as a new student with a common connection through a thought-provoking book.  Every year, a committee of faculty, staff and students select a book from nominations submitted by the entire campus community. The program helps prepare you for your academic life on campus.

Some professors may include the book in coursework, and others may simply refer to it. We invite you to enter the writing contest with a cash prize for the best essays about the book - check back in late August for details.

We believe that books forge powerful bonds and we are excited to begin the discussions this year!

First-Year Writing Contest

Check back at the end of August for details on the essay contest.

Ten Lessons From a Tiger, TEDxYYC

The Author

Photo credit: John Sinal

UM is delighted to welcome John Vaillant to campus!  Plan to attend his lecture on Wednesday, September 9 at 8pm in the Dennison Theatre.

A special session for First-Year Students will be held Thursday, September 10 from 1-2pm in the UC Theater.

Select Bibliography

Vaillant, John. "The Golden Bough." The New Yorker 78.33 (2002a): 50+.

---. The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2005.

---. The Jaguar's Children. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015.

---. "The Lynching Of Louie Sam." Walrus 5.9 (2008): 48-59.

---. "Northern Giant." National Geographic 214.5 (2008): 136-151.

---. "Overkill.” The Atlantic 291.3 (2003): 121-126.

---. "Paddling In A Ghost World." Outside 27.7 (2002): 46+.

---. "Riders of the Lost Plateau: Snowboarding Montana’s Beartooth Mountains." National Geographic Adventure 4.2 (2002b): 86+.

---. "The Ship that Vanished.” The New Yorker 75.30 (1999): 44-54.

---. The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2011.