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Labelled with ICRA

Since 1979 logo

book cover

5 X 9 inches, 128 pages

ISBN 978-1-897323-11-3
Second edition

First edition
Out of print

The Survivor of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Joan Skelton

AFTER A LONG ABSENCE, Clarissa Wheatley returns to the family cottage on the shore of Lake Superior. Beside its turbulent and enchanted waters, memories, mythology, hoodlums, and Nordri, an old Finnish woman, invoke a chain reaction in her very being. After Clarissa finally summons the courage to read her mother's journal, the pressing questions in her life begin to change.

The journal entwines the tale of a woman trying to make sense of her house-bound life with the story of a mysterious "survivor" of the Edmund Fitzgerald, a young man who jumped ship when he believed he had information to save the doomed
vessel. Encountering each other on the frozen shore of Lake Superior a few miles from where the Big Fitz sank, Gene, a castaway, and Clara, a runaway, make sense of their destinies.

The Survivor of the Edmund Fitzgerald plunges its characters into the depths of the human psyche, offering profound psychological and philosophical insights against the rich backdrop of an engrossing Great Lakes tragedy.

"A gripping account of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, this novel becomes a fascinating exploration of the fundamental
issues of life itself."
— David Staines, University of Ottawa

"In prose as crisp and clear as a November day in the Superior region, Joan Skelton has created a stunning evocation of life on the shores of the big lake they call Gitchigumi, a portrait of
northern Ontario that is a must read for anyone who is moved by the power and majesty of this haunted landscape."
—Bruce Meyer

"I was ... extremely impressed with the novel. The point of view is tough-minded and yet compassionate, and the psychology economical but very incisive."
—Northrop Frye

"Once the flurry of new journalism (about the sinking) subsided, a slender Canadian feminist novel by Joan Skelton, The Survivor of the Edmund Fitzgerald, began to ask more profound
— Haskell springer, ed., America and the Sea

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