In The Great Soul of Siberia, renowned tiger researcher Sooyong Park tracks three generations of Siberian tigers living in remote southeastern Russia. Reminiscent of the way Timothy Treadwell (the so-called Grizzly Man) immersed himself in the lives of bears, Park sets up underground bunkers to observe the tigers, living thrillingly close to these beautiful but dangerous apex predators. At the same time, he draws from twenty years of experience and research to focus on the Siberian tigers’ losing battle against poaching and diminishing habitat. Over the two years of his harrowing stakeout, Park’s poignant and poetic observations of the tigers draw a fiercely compassionate portrait of these elusive, endangered creatures.
An award-winning documentary filmmaker, Sooyong Park has devoted over twenty years to studying and filming Siberian tigers. A film about him, Siberian Tiger Quest, aired on PBS and won Best Cinematography (a tie) at the 2013 International Wildlife Film Festival. He lives in Seoul, Korea.
John Vaillant's work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and National Geographic among other magazines. His books, The Tiger and The Golden Spruce, were international bestsellers. His most recent book, The Jaguar's Children is his first novel. He lives in Vancouver.
"Great Soul of Siberia is the most intimate, poetic and immersive investigation of the Siberian tiger ever written." ?John Vaillant, author of The Tiger and The Jaguar's Children
"Sooyong’s magical prose led me into little-known and breathtakingly beautiful forests, exposed me to the bitter cold of long winter months, and revealed the secret life of that most mysterious of cats, the Siberian tiger."?Jane Goodall
"An astonishingly intimate peek into a family of the greatest of cats, and a man in love with watching them. Sooyong Park has felt the breath of a wild Siberian Tiger on his cheek, and so will you."? Will Stolzenburg, author of Where the Wild Things Were
"... a remarkable, and heart-rending story written by a poet whose own soul permeates each page."-- Heather Dune Macadam, author of Rena's Promise: A Story of Sisters in Auschwitz
"A beautiful book, and the best account of Siberian tigers I’ve read. Park’s remarkable first-hand observations of a wild tiger family contain the wisdom of his years of experience and are written with great verve, intelligence, dedication, and understanding." ?Jeffrey Masson, author of Beasts and When Elephant's Weep
"A beautifully patient, deep-textured exploration of an unknown part of the world and its ancient guardian, the majestic Amur tiger, by a wonderfully empathetic naturalist." ?Ruth Padel, author of Tigers in Red Weather
"To read Great Soul of Siberia is to go deep into the tiger’s mysterious Russian realm with an expert guide. Thanks to author Sooyong Park’s vivid prose, you will feel extremes of cold and fear, triumph and heartbreak. And you will be helpless against falling in love, as he did, with the tiger’s wild magnificence.?J.A. Mills Author ofBlood of the Tiger
"This book is an unbelievably gripping account of one man's laser-focused determination to find, film, and understand one of the rarest and most formidable cats on earth. Not only is Sooyong Park's story astonishing?it's also shared with such intense emotion that you feel you're right there with him." ?Chris Morgan, Ecologist, host of PBS Siberian Tiger Quest
"A heartfelt memoir that reflects the author’s respect and love for a wild and pitiless world."?Kirkus Reviews
"The rigour and sincerity of [Park's] philosophy distinguishes The Great Soul of Siberia even in the present age of Emerson-inflected transcendentalist nature writing. ...Park’s close engagement with the forest ecology is the most extraordinary element of this remarkable book."?New Statesman