Hilary Scharper is a Canadian novelist who writes “Ecogothic” fiction. Her current writing project is a two-volume tale unfolding in the haunted (and haunting) landscapes of the Great Lakes and their remote, 19th-century lighthouses.
The Ecogothic is a newly-minted sub genre of the Gothic tradition. It is a literary form embracing the full scope of human feelings toward the natural world, including emotions of fear, alienation, and ambivalence—feelings which (although often guiltily suppressed) frequently accompany reverence for nature. The Ecogothic thus engages with “dark nature,”and seeks to learn from the more difficult and complex relationships humans have with the natural world.
• The first novel, “Perdita,” takes place on the northern Bruce Peninsula at a lighthouse on Georgian Bay (Lake Huron), and tells the tale of a woman purported to be the world’s oldest living person. A ghostly, gothic-hybrid—a child seemingly drowned in an 1898 shipwreck—shadows the boundary between life and death, and impedes the allegedly 134-year-old Marged Brice from passing on.
• A second novel, “Lonely Island,” is forthcoming.