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Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue

What happens when the place you've loved working at for twenty years asks for a divorce and breaks your heart?

"Tapping into her journalistic rigour, [Wong] gives a complete profile of the disease and its history." — Now Magazine

"Jan Wong is a wonderful writer and as she tells her own story, she speaks for me and for many. Some say depression is a gift. Well, it's not. But this book is."  — Shelagh Rogers

Self-published in 2012 because publishers were afraid of the backlash from the author's criticism of the biggest newspaper in Canada, Jan Wong's formidable memoir made the Globe and Mail's own bestseller list and exposed a much needed look at depression in the workplace. Now it's back by popular demand.

For twenty years Jan Wong had been one of the Globe and Mail's best-known reporters. Edward Greenspon, her then editor-in-chief, described Wong's writing as "intrusive, edgy, insightful, significant — and funny. Everything Jan touches becomes memorable."

Then one day her world came crashing down. A story she wrote sparked a national firestorm, including death threats, a unanimous denunciation by Parliament, and a rebuke by her own newspaper. For the first time in her professional life, Wong fell into a clinical depression. She resisted the diagnosis, refusing to believe she had a mental illness, as did her employer and her insurer. Out of the Blue is the harrowing and sometimes surreal story of her struggle and her eventual emergence — out of the blue.


Jan Wong is the author of five national bestsellers. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her work and is now a professor of journalism at St. Thomas University. Her most recent books is Apron Strings: Navigating Food and Family in France, Italy, and China.



"Jan Wong is a courageous journalist who has walked into fire, literally and metaphorically, to bring us the truth. In Out of the Blue, she does so again, but this time it's personal. As she tracks her spiral into unipolar depression, she applies the same rigor that has made her renowned as a reporter. Who knew that Jan Wong, one of the toughest journalists in Canada, could be incapacitated by the disease? Out of the Blue proves that it doesn't matter who you are: depression is an equal-opportunity soul stealer. It proves that even enlightened workplaces have yet to fully come to terms with mental illness. It also proves that recovery and understanding are absolutely possible. Jan is a wonderful writer and, as she tells her own story, she speaks for me and for many. Some say depression is a gift. Well, it's not. But this book is." — Shelagh Rogers, O.C.

"Jan Wong has clearly and accurately presented the history, signs and symptoms of depression and its underlying and associated pathological correlates. Her research is thorough and presented clearly. Bravo! Perhaps more importantly, she has painted an accurate and evocative portrait of a person trying to live a life with major depression, in a way that will edify, disturb, or comfort the reader." — Dr. Irwin Wolkoff

"Wong’s book reveals a thousand cuts to her body and soul. A great and perceptive writer, she has the gift of precision." — Toronto Star

"Required reading for anyone interested in journalism. It is also required reading for anyone interested in the way employers treat employees with mental illnesses." — Ottawa Citizen

"The first of a new genre: the workplace divorce memoir . . . a page-turner suffused with suffering and pluck." — Maclean's

264 pages
Pub date: May 5, 2012

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