The 2014 Orion Book Award

Each spring, the Orion Book Award is presented to books that deepen the reader’s connection to the natural world, represent excellence in writing, and that we believe Orion readers will enjoy. The award has been conferred annually since 2007.

New in 2014, the award now includes categories for fiction and nonfiction. Eligible books are considered and selected by the Orion staff; over 250 books published in 2013 were considered for this year’s awards.

The winner of the 2014 Orion Book Award in the fiction category is:

MaddAddam, by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese)

“Margaret Atwood’s witty insights into the lay of our cultural and environmental landscape infuse her work with just the right balance of devastation and humor. She has a masterful grasp of how storytelling is intimately tied to resilience, and nowhere is that more evident than in this newest novel.” —The Editors

The winner of the 2014 Orion Book Award in the nonfiction category is:

Sightlines: A Conversation with the Natural World, by Kathleen Jamie (The Experiment)

“Kathleen Jamie’s Sightlines dissects the natural world with precision, humor, and love. The essays in this book not only inspire us to look more closely, but also have the power to open us up to a new kind of emotional experience of the planet.” —The Editors


The three fiction finalists for the 2014 Orion Book Award are the following:

All the Land to Hold Us, by Rick Bass (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Archipelago, by Monique Roffey (Penguin Books)

The Last Animal, by Abby Geni (Counterpoint)

The three nonfiction finalists are:

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Milkweed Editions)

Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?, by Alan Weisman (Little, Brown, and Company)

The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild, by Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Little, Brown, and Company)

Read reports from Orion staff on these and other 2013 books at our blog, and see a list of other books we liked here.

The Orion Book Award recognizes books published in North America during the previous calendar year. Nominations for the award are made by advisors, writers, editors, and contributing editors of Orion. Selection of the winners and finalists is made by the Orion staff. We accept nominations from authors, publishers, editors, and agents of books that they have been involved with.

More information about previous Orion Book Award winners and finalists is available here.