• Biography

    MARQ DE VILLIERS is a veteran journalist who has reported from many parts of the world, especially Africa and the former Soviet Union. He has also been editor, and then publisher, of Toronto Life magazine, Toronto, and editorial director of WHERE Magazines International, Los Angeles. De Villiers was born in South Africa and is a graduate of the University of Cape Town with a later graduate year at the London School of Economics. He holds an honorary degree from Dalhousie University and in 2010 was appointed to the Order of Canada. He lives in Eagle Head, on Nova Scotia’s south shore. He is the author of 14 books, most on African themes or natural history, but one on wine (The Heartbreak Grape) and one on the American revolutionary wars, Blood Traitors. Five of his books were co-authored with Sheila Hirtle. He has won several awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Non Fiction, the Evelyn Richardson Award (twice), South Africa’s Alan Paton Award, and was shortlisted for both the Julia Child and James Beard Awards. He has also written on contract for National Geographic Books (America’s Outdoors: Eastern Canada) and has ghosted three other titles, the “autobiographies” of Maurice Strong, who headed the 1992 world environmental summit in Rio; of Lawrencia “Bambi” Bembenek (written as she was about to get her murder conviction overturned); and of former theatre impresario and later felon Garth Drabinsky. His latest book is Hell and Damnation: A Sinner's Guide to Eternal Torment, published by University of Regina Press in 2019.

    • Our Way Out: First Principles for a Post-Apocalyptic World. McClelland and Stewart, 2011. ISBN 978-0-7710-2648-5

    • Dangerous World. Penguin, 2008. ISBN 978-0670065684.

    • Timbuktu: The Sahara's Fabled City of Gold. McClelland & Stewart, 2007. ISBN 978-0-7710-2646-1.

    • Witch in the Wind: The True Story of the Legendary Bluenose. Thomas Allen and Co. 2007. ISBN 0-88762-224-0.

    • Windswept: The Story of Wind and Weather. McClelland & Stewart, 2006. ISBN 0-7710-2644-7.

    • A Dune Adrift: The Strange Origins and Curious History of Sable Island. McClelland & Stewart, 2004, co-written with Sheila Hirtle. ISBN 0-7710-2642-0.

    • Sahara: The Life of the Great Desert. McClelland & Stewart, and Walker and Co. 2003. Co-written with Sheila Hirtle. ISBN 0-7710-2639-0.

    • America's Outdoors: Eastern Canada. National Geographic Society, 2001

    • Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource, 1999. (Revised edition 2003). McClelland & Stewart, 2003. ISBN 0771026412.

    • Into Africa: A Journey Through the Ancient Empires. Co-written with Sheila Hirtle. Key Porter Books, October 1997. ISBN 1-55013-884-7.

    • Blood Traitors: A True Saga of the American Revolution. Co-authored with Sheila Hirtle, HarperCollins, 1996. ISBN 0-000255424-0.

    • Down the Volga in a Time Of Troubles: A Journey Through Post-Perestroika Russia. HarperCollins, 1991. ISBN 0-67084-353-9

    • The Heartbreak Grape: A Search for the Perfect Pinot Noir, 1993. HarperCollins, revised edition MacArthur and Co 2007. ISBN 0-06258-523-1.

    • White Tribe Dreaming: Apartheid's bitter roots: notes of an eighth-generation Afrikaner. Penguin USA (Paper), February 1989. ISBN 0-67081-794-

    • Back to the Well: Rethinking the Future of Water, 2015, Goose Lane Editions,

      ISBN 9 781773 100463

    • Hell and Damnation: A Sinner’s Guide to Eternal Torment, 2019, University of Regina Press, ISBN 9 780889 775848


    {Title}Back to the Well: Rethinking the Future of Water

    2015, Goose Lane Editions,


    ISBN 9 781773 100463

    • Evelyn Richardson Prize for non-fiction; 'Witch in the Wind'.

    • Dartmouth Book Award for non-fiction; 'Witch in the Wind'

    • Evelyn Richardson Prize for non-fiction; 'A Dune Adrift'

    • Writers Trust of Canada Pearson non-fiction award, finalist; 'Sahara'

    • Saskatchewan Showcase award, documentary Science/Technology; 'Water Water'

    • Canadian Science Writers Award; 'Water'

    • Governor General's Award for non-fiction; 'Water'

    • James Beard Awards, shortlist for Best Book: Wine & Spirits; 'The Heartbreak Grape'

    • Julia Child Awards, shortlist for literary food writing; 'The Heartbreak Grape'

    • Governor General's Award for non fiction, shortlist; 'The Heartbreak Grape'

    • Winner of the first annual Alan Paton Award for non-fiction; 'White Tribe Dreaming'