Marq de Villiers

Marq de Villiers

MARQ DE VILLIERS is a veteran journalist who has reported from many parts of the world, especially Africa and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of 14 books, many of them award-winning, including the first Alan Paton Award for Non Fiction Writing on South Africa; the Governor General’s Award for Non Fiction (as mentioned above, and shortlisted a second time); the Saskatchewan Showcase Award for Water Water, a 3-hour television documentary; the Evelyn Richardson Award for Non Fiction (winner twice, shortlisted once more); the Dartmouth Book Award for Non Fiction; the Writers Trust of Canada  / Pearson Writers Trust Non Fiction Awards (finalist for Sahara: The Life of the Great Desert); and finalist for both the James Beard Awards (wine and spirits category) and Julia Child Awards (literary food writing).

De Villiers was born in South Africa and is a graduate of the University of Cape Town and 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 on Nova Scotia’s south shore.

For more on the author, please visit his website:



Hell and Damnation: A Sinner’s Guide to Eternal Torment (University of Regina Press, 2019)

“Novelist de Villiers (Water) eloquently discusses a number of questions about hell in this fun book. By illuminating contemporary culture’s own unexamined beliefs about what happens after death, de Villiers details the long, strange history of how hell has been imagined in this delightful book.” -Publishers Weekly

“The perfect juxtaposition of knowledge and humor … Written as if hell were a real and true place, it is the best guidebook to a horror that no one hopes ever to experience.”
-Foreword Reviews

“De Villiers…is a well-informed and agreeable guide, whose hellish reportage will satisfy even the most curious.” -Booklist

“A deliciously cynical analysis of the afterlife viewed from a variety of perspectives.”

-Michael Coren, The Walrus


Back to the Well: Rethinking the Future of Water (Goose Lane Books, 2015)

“A forceful prescription for a sustainable water future.” Elizabeth May, Leader, Green Party of Canada

Our Way Out First Principles for a Post-Apocalyptic World
A potent antidote to doomsday prognoses of our world’s ability to sustain life in the future.
(McClelland & Stewart, 2011)
Dangerous World Understanding Natural Calamities and Protecting Human Survival
(Penguin, Spring 2008) and as The End: Natural Disasters, Manmade Catastrophes, and the Future of Human Survival (St. Martins Press, Fall 2008)
Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource(revised edition McClelland & Stewart, 2003)
Now in print in 11 languages. 1999 Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction
1999 Canadian Science Writers Award
Short-listed, The 23rd annual Evelyn Richardson Prize
for Non-Fiction, 2000


Recipient, Order of Canada, 2010in honour of his contributions to social and political discourse