The Baillie Gifford Prize aims to reward the best of non-fiction and is open to authors of any nationality. It covers all non-fiction in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts.
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.
- Browns Books Synopsis
Formerly known as The Samuel Johnson Prize (1999 – 2015) it is the most prestigious non-fiction prize in the UK, worth £50,000 to the winner.
Historically, The NCR Book Award for Non-Fiction ran for 10 years from 1987 to 1997 and The Samuel Johnson Prize launched in 1999 taking over where the NCR Award left off. In 2016 Baillie Gifford, the Edinburgh-based investment management partnership, became the sponsor of The Samuel Johnson Prize and the award was renamed The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-fiction.