The untold story of one Acadian family: their experiences following their expulsion and their determination to find home.
Growing up on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Tyler LeBlanc wasn’t fully aware of his family’s Acadian roots — until a chance encounter with an Acadian historian prompted him to delve into his family history. LeBlanc’s discovery that he could trace his family all the way to the time of the Acadian Expulsion and beyond forms the basis of this compelling account of Le Grand Dérangement.
Piecing together his family history through archival documents, Tyler LeBlanc tells the story of Joseph LeBlanc (his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather), Joseph’s ten siblings, and their families. With descendants scattered across modern-day Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, the LeBlancs provide a window into the diverse fates that awaited the Acadians when they were expelled from their homeland. Some escaped the deportation and were able to retreat into the wilderness. Others found their way back to Acadie. But many were exiled to Britain, France, or the future United States, where they faced suspicion and prejudice and struggled to settle into new lives.
A unique biographical approach to the history of the Expulsion, Acadian Driftwood is a vivid insight into one family’s experience of this traumatic event.
Tyler LeBlanc was born and raised in a tiny fishing village on Nova Scotia’s south shore. He studied history and journalism as an undergraduate and holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. His writing has appeared in This Magazine, Modern Farmer, Explore, Dal Magazine, and the Coast.
"With great care and an eye for well-researched details, Tyler LeBlanc tells a story of trauma by making room for personal and historical insights into the lives of the Acadians who survived the Expulsion. A tapestry of 250-year-old threads, Acadian Driftwood is stronger and more resilient than one would ever expect, let alone woven in such a careful and vibrant manner. "
— Simon Thibault
"The Acadian story deserves to be told far and wide — let this exquisite book draw you into an astonishing tale of imperial abuse and collective courage. "
— Lyse Doucet
"Tyler LeBlanc takes readers on a quest to uncover his family’s forgotten history, a journey into the horrors of the eighteenth-century deportations that scattered his Acadian ancestors and almost destroyed their culture. Deeply researched and honestly told, Acadian Driftwood is a gritty, gripping account of a dark chapter in Canada’s history and an uplifting tale of discovery — discovery of heritage, of family, and, ultimately, of identity. "
— Dean Jobb
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