Robert McGill’s research focuses on Canadian literature and on issues related to creative writing. His book War Is Here: The Vietnam War and Canadian Literature examines the war’s influence on Canadian identity. It follows his novel Once We Had a Country, which tells the story of Americans in Canada during the war era. His first novel, The Mysteries, was named one of the top five Canadian fiction books of the year by Quill & Quire.
Robert has published short fiction in Hazlitt, Toronto Life, The Journey Prize Anthology, Grain, The Dalhousie Review, The Fiddlehead, The New Quarterly, and Descant. He is also the author of The Treacherous Imagination: Intimacy, Ethics, and Autobiographical Fiction, which addresses people’s sense of betrayal when they believe they have been turned into characters in novels or stories. In 2018, Robert was named a winner of the Robert Kroetsch Teaching Award by CCWWP (Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs). He is currently working on new fiction, as well as articles about diversity and authority in Creative Writing pedagogy.
“Negotiating Cultural Difference in Creative Writing Workshops.” Co-authored with Noor Naga. Pedagogy 18.1 (2018): 69-86.‘That’s My Boy’: Challenging the Myth of Literary Mentorship as In Loco Patris.” Co-authored with Neil Surkan. Journal of Creative Writing Studies 3.1 (2018): 1-21."Alice Munro and Personal Development." The Cambridge Companion to Alice Munro. Ed. David Staines. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. (2016)
"Mistaken Identities in 'The Bear Came Over the Mountain.'" Alice Munro. Ed. Robert Thacker. New York: Bloomsbury. (2016)
"Michael Ondaatje’s The Collected Works of Billy the Kid and 1960s America." Canadian Poetry 76 (2015): 57-80.
"The Place of Biographical Interpretation in Fiction Workshops." New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing (2015).
"Somatic Nationalism and Spectacle in Hugh MacLennan’s Barometer Rising." Studies in Canadian Literature 37.2 (2012): 213-29.
"No Nation but Adaptation: 'The Bear Came Over the Mountain,' Away from Her, and What It Means to Be Faithful." Canadian Literature 197 (2008): 98-111.
"'A Necessary Collaboration': Biographical Desire and Elizabeth Smart." English Studies in Canada 33.3 (2007): 67-88.
"Somewhere I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You: Alice Munro’s Fiction of Distance." The Journal of Commonwealth Literature 37.1 (2002): 9-29.