From the #1 bestselling, award-winning author of The Golden Spruce and The Tiger: a rich, gripping literary thriller in the spirit of The Constant Gardener that showcases the narrative power for which John Vaillant is internationally acclaimed.
Hector, a young Zapotec fleeing Mexico for a better life in the US with his friend Cesar, a biotech researcher, pays to be smuggled across the border by unscrupulous "coyotes," concealed in the tightly sealed, empty tank of a water truck packed with illegal migrants. Abandoned by the smugglers in the desert, they are left to die, their only lifeline Cesar's phone. When Cesar slips into unconsciousness, Hector reaches out to the one name with an American code--AnniMac--that becomes his lifeline to the world as he reveals what has brought him to this place, taking us back to an older Mexico; to the lives of his Zapotec grandparents and the ancient, mythic traditions, to the mystery behind the jaguar icon left to him by a mysterious archeologist, and the power of the corn myth. As legends fuse with the terrifying present, the dangers Cesar is fleeing become grippingly apparent: his research was threatening to expose the country's largest manufacturer of genetically modified corn, set to impose economic and cultural genocide on the native population. Finding the courage to survive is critical, even as hope dwindles.
JOHN VAILLANT's first book, 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. Vaillant has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Outside, National Geographic and The Walrus, among other publications. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Praise for The Jaguar's Children:
"The novel unfurls at the pace of a geopolitical thriller, with the gravitas of allegory.... Vaillant's prose sears as he alights on NAFTA, civil and government corruption, and the tensions between past and present affecting Mexico's citizens." --National Post
"The Jaguar's Children is devastating. It's at once a literary mystery, an engrossing tour de force, and a brilliant commentary on humanity's role in the physical world. The voice that echoes out from that abandoned place Vaillant so masterfully creates won't leave me." --Joseph Boyden, author of The Orenda
"Vaillant's use of fact to inspire fiction brings to mind a long list of powerful novels from the past decade or so: What Is the What, by Dave Eggers; The Map of Love, by Ahdaf Soueif; The Storyteller, by Jodi Picoult.... In a world of relentless content and thin (if bright) attractions, what could be more important than carving out an hour or three and opening yourself to the voice of another, to the possibility that a novel will transform you?" --The New York Times Book Review