John DeMont
The Long Way Home

Book Cover

The province's premier journalist tells the story he was born to write.

For lovers of history, travel writing, and sharp social observation comes a finely etched portrait of Nova Scotia by one of the province's most gifted writers. No journalist has travelled the back roads, hidden vales, and fog-soaked coves of Nova Scotia as widely as John DeMont. No writer has spent as much time considering its peculiar warp and woof of humanity, geography, and history.

This book is the summation of DeMont's years of travel, research, and thought. It tells the story of what is, from the European view of things, the oldest part of Canada. Before Confederation it was also the richest, but now it is among the poorest. Its defining myths and stories are mostly about loss, willful endurance, and sheer determination. Equal parts narrative, memoir, and meditation, the book tells with enthralling clarity a complex and multi-dimensional story: the overwhelming of the first peoples and the arrival of a mélange of pioneers who carved out pockets of the wilderness; the random acts and unexplained mysteries; the mixture of shameful achievements and noble failures; the rapture and misery; the twists of destiny, and the hard-heartedness of fate.

This is the biography of a place that has been hardened by history and a people shaped by the land and the past like pebbles on a beach. A place full of reminders of how great, from time to time, parts of the province have been, and how great—with the right circumstances and a little luck—it could be again.

Praise for John DeMont's The Long Way Home:

“DeMont drifts with ease between the present and the past, evoking with great feeling those who walked and breathed and cultivated this land before us. I wish all history books were so beautifully written.”
—Donna Morrissey, author of The Fortunate Brother

The Long Way Home is history from the heart written with a journalist's instinctive understanding of the instructive power in dramatic detail and human foible, places where historians all too often fear to tread.”
—Linden MacIntyre, author of The Only Café

“This is a voyage for the ages—a tender peregrination through memory and the province that is Canada’s old soul, rendered vivid and exceptionally moving by the author’s singular knowledge and love of place.”
—Noah Richler, author of The Candidate

“John DeMont knows this very well: Nova Scotians have always taken our history personally. Our identities both as a province and the separate cultures under its umbrella are defined by recognizing and protecting it. We look to our history and we know who we are, we hold it to our hearts as we walk forward. Demont has walked the width and length of Nova Scotia for decades encountering this history, sometimes even in person as it happened. You get the sense that he has gathered the province in his arms. He is captured by personalities, of those who leap naturally from the pages of the history books, but also those modern stewards, the local that someone points him towards for a story, the living encounters that left an impression. It is the Nova Scotia we live and love, the hard-won and heartbreak both, a personal history, as is only fit from someone who met it face to face so often.”
—Kate Beaton, author of Hark! A Vagrant and Step Aside, Pops

“John DeMont has done wandering Nova Scotians a great service. In this wonderfully and carefully written book he has captured much of what we all miss when we're away, and what keeps us coming home.”
—Gerald Butts, Principal Secretary, the Prime Minister of Canada

Praise for John DeMont's Coal Black Heart:

National Bestseller
Nominated for the 2010 National Business Book Award

"A prodigious book . . . written skillfully and often lyrically" —The Globe and Mail

"Elegiac, scrupulously researched." —Ottawa Citizen

"Wonderful . . . full of exhuberance." —Calgary Herald

"There is history big and small here, heroism and heartbreak, and humanity in all its diversity. Coal Black Heart is an epic tale and a compelling one—John DeMont's prose grabs you by the shirt collar and keeps you turning the pages." —D'Arcy Jenish, author of Epic Wanderer: David Thompson and the Opening of the West

Length: 304 pages (hc)
Publication Date: October 2017


World rights, McClelland & Stewart

For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.
John DeMont

JOHN DEMONT is a senior writer and columnist for The Chronicle Herald and Herald Magazine. He is an award-winning journalist and author with more than 25 years of experience. A former national correspondent for Maclean's magazine, his books include Citizens Irving, The Last Best Place, Coal Black Heart, and, most recently, A Good Day's Work.