Simple Creatures

•  Available October 8, 2024


With an intimate, comic, and compassionate eye, the twelve stories in Simple Creatures consider what it means to live with less in the twenty-first century.

In this debut collection, Robert McGill explores the heartaches and joys of people who are desperate to uncomplicate their complicated world. Through stories taking the form of YouTube monologues, pet-care instructions, school reports, or the unspoken thoughts of a young scholar obsessed with a famous Canadian writer,
Simple Creatures also shows us the sometimes hilarious, often poignant ways in which our use of language shapes our relationships with others and ourselves.

We meet a teenager who wants to live among a community of Bigfoot that he claims to have discovered in the woods; the widow of a famous endocrinologist after she gains custody of a chimpanzee from his lab; a boy whose fledgling hockey career is troubled by the fact that his name is Leo Gretzky; and a divorcee seeking out the mysterious author of a viral environmental pledge. Through their lives,
Simple Creatures offers an acute, sympathetic portrait of our time.


"Reminded me of how potent an elixir the short story form can be."

"Robert McGill writes hilarious, smart, heart-breaking stories. A master of voice and dialogue, character and perspective, he knows everyone’s loneliness. We’re all in here, the whole arc of life: children in the beginning, elderly athletes battling to the end, and middle aged lovers trying to love in the middle of the internet and a climate disaster. Come watch as one of our best stylists plies his trade, pushing short fiction to its contemporary, ecstatic edge."