NEW! The updated edition of WIND: How the Flow of Air has Shaped Life, Myth, and the Land

 is now available in print and as an ebook. Details about the book are below.

hatteras cover.png

IN THE EARLY YEARS of my career I wrote for newspapers and magazines in Delaware, Oregon, and Atlanta. In 1985 I moved to Cape Hatteras to write a book about seaside ecology, and fell in love with the Outer Banks landscape. Hatteras Journal was published in 1987. It is both a description of the region’s natural history and an exploration of the effects of landscape on how we live and move through the world. The book is considered a regional classic.

“Not since Ben MacNeil wrote The Hatterasman in the 1950s has that bare bone of sand between Bodie and Ocracoke islands been written about so affectionately, intelligently, and well.” – Norfolk Virginian-Pilot

meant to be wild.png

AS SOON AS I finished writing Hatteras Journal, I became involved with the effort to return rare red wolves to the swampy mainland just west of the Outer Banks. My second book, Meant to Be Wild: The Struggle to Save Endangered Species Through Captive Breeding (1991), tells the story of the passionate men and women who have fought to save red wolves, California condors, Florida panthers, and other animals that have been pushed to the brink of extinction. It was a main selection for the Nature Book Club and was chosen by Library Journal as one of the best science and nature books of the year.

“Everyone concerned with maintaining biodiversity should read this book.” – Library Journal 

THE OUTER BANKS are among the windiest landscapes on Earth, and my time here has made me acutely aware of the moods and quirks of the breezes. My third book, Wind (1998 and updated for 2015 ), is a look at how the movement of air has sculpted not just the natural world, but our culture, history, health, and psychological wellbeing. It was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for Natural History Writing in 1999. Now available in both paperback and ebook format.  

“A stunning view of the Earth.” – Los Angeles Times

“This is the kind of writing that transforms the reader’s experience of nature.” –Audubon

"The wind will never be the same for readers after finishing this book, its presence now heightened and explicated. DeBlieu has achieved the big two: Enlightenment and Entertainment." -- Kirkus Reviews


YEAR OF THE COMETS: A Journey from Sadness to the Stars (2005) was my first full-throttled foray into memoir. It tells the story of a year in which my husband fell into despair and I kept myself sane by studying the night sky. I was shocked to discover that scientists know much more about the composition of deepest outer space than the complex functions of the human brain.

Excerpted in the Washington Post.

“In this memoir, science is not an external abstraction but something intimately bound to the author’s experience, which any reader in a comparable situation will find quite affecting.” – Booklist

"One of the best books I've come across on either topic--astronomy or depression." -- Sky and Telescope

My book on selfless service and how it's helped heal me is nearing completion. It's had a number of working titles, but its theme has always been the same: After the death of our son in a car accident, I decided that the only way to return meaning to my life was to learn how to live in service to people in need, whether they are poor, sick, or broken in any way. But living in service whole-heartedly proved to be much more difficult that I ever thought possible. I tell the story of my search for the kind of service that changes lives, and how the quest has helped me heal. Watch for details on the book's publication.

IN ADDITION to my books, I have published many articles and essays in national newspapers and magazines and literary journals. I particularly love the essay. It’s a form of literary collage, a marvelous way to take disparate pieces and mold them into a whole.

To see two of my previously published essays on landscape and place, click here. (Coming soon. Please check back.)


All my books are available at Duck's Cottage and Duck's Cottage Books Downtown on the Outer Banks.