Seven novels about the Great Lakes…

“A normal lake is knowable. A Great Lake can hold all the mysteries of an ocean, and then some.”
Dan Egan, The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, 2017

Hilary Scharper is a Canadian novelist who writes “ecoGothic” fiction.

The ecoGothic is a newly-minted subgenre representing a “more ecologically aware gothic”—one which embraces the full scope of human feelings toward the natural world, including not only romantic feelings, but also darker, edgier emotions of fear, alienation, anxiety and ambivalence. Hilary Scharper’s current writing project is titled “Great Lakes Gothic,” a series of novels taking place at locations on each of the Great Lakes. Each novel explores the distinctive qualities, personalities, dreams and desires of each place. In all her novels, nature is not treated merely as a backdrop or setting, but is an active and central player in the narrative. 


The first novel in the series, “Perdita” (2013/2015) takes places on the northern Bruce Peninsula at a lighthouse on Georgian Bay, Lake Huron. The second story, Lonely Island,” incorporates  a remote island in northern Georgian Bay, notorious for shipwrecks.  A third novel,Fur,takes place along the southern shores of Lake Superior (in Ojibwe gichi-gami or the great sea).

Novels are planned for Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Michigan and the North Channel.


“Great revelations of nature, of course, never fail to impress in one way or another….Mountains overawe and oceans terrify, while the mystery of great forests exercises a spell peculiarly its own. But all these, at one point or another, somewhere link on intimately with human life and human experience. They stir comprehensible, even if alarming, emotions.—Algernon Blackwood, The Willows, 1907