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The Women’s Great Lakes Reader

Offers accounts of women lightkeepers, Natives, fur traders, cooks on sailing vessels, missionaries, and fearless women travellers who wrote of their journeys on the lakes from 1789 to the present.

Listed by the Michigan Department of Education as one of the Fifty Essential Michigan History Books.


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Table of Contents and Excerpts (.pdf)

New Great Lakes History

Women lighthouse keepers, North American Natives, fur traders, cooks on sailing vessels, missionaries, and fearless travellers all wrote of their lives on the Great Lakes. Their narratives, which span the centuries from 1789 to the present, are now collected in this anthology for the first time. Some writers were well known. Others left their quiet testimonies in letters, log books, and diaries that have never before been published. Beginning with Native stories and continuing through writings by women pioneers, travellers, and working women, more than three dozen selections of autobiography, fiction, newspaper accounts, and poetry chronicle what it has meant to live on the lakes from childhood to old age.

What the Reviewers Say

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal
“Such a great idea, why didn’t somebody do it before now?”

The Bloomsbury Review
“A great sourcebook for learning more about women who shaped the Great Lakes region.”

Wisconsin Bookwatch
“An impressive, informative, superbly presented contribution to women’s studies, Native American studies, regional and Midwestern history studies.”

Manitowoc Herald-Times
“With each page, the area’s history unfolds.”

Duluth News-Tribune
“Makes a reader come away with a new bit of knowledge, or a touch of newfound inspiration and strength, as well as an even greater appreciation of Lake Superior.”

Traverse City Record Eagle
“The collection is well-rounded and always fascinating. . . .”

Meet the Women Who Write About Their Lives in
The Women’s Great Lakes Reader