Robin McLean worked as a lawyer and then a potter in the woods of Alaska before turning to writing. Her first story collection Reptile House won the 2013 BOA Editions Fiction Prize and was twice a finalist for the Flannery O'Connor Short Story Prize. Her debut novel Pity the Beast was published November 2o21 by And Other Stories and was noted as a best book of fiction of the year in such outlets as The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, and White Review. It is currently long listed for the Reading the West Prize.
Her second story collection, Get'em Young, Treat'em Tough, Tell'em Nothing is forthcoming, also from And Other Stories, on October 18, 2022 (same day as the paperback of Pity the Beast.)
Her stories have been published widely. She now lives and teaches in the high plains desert of central Nevada at Ike's Canyon Ranch, a writers' retreat that she co-founded.