Make-believe McGillians

McGill in movies, literature and television
All-around great guy James Wilson (right) gives millions of television viewers cause to think that Gregory House, one of TV’s great curmudgeons, might have a redeeming quality or two.

Some of the University’s most remarkable graduates – daring doctors, stellar scientists and international adventurers – never actually existed.

There is something about McGill that captures the imagination – or so it would seem given the many times the University finds itself mentioned in works of fiction.

“Coming of age” stories, featuring young, university-aged adults fumbling their way through the world, have always held appeal, so that’s probably part of the allure. The fact that so many McGill graduates go on to make their mark in the world of literature – “write what you know,” creative fiction teachers have long counselled – is likely another factor.

In any case, there is no shortage of fictitious McGill characters lining the shelves of bookstores. Authors as varied as Clark Blaise, Dany Laferrière, Brian Moore, Kathy Reichs and William Weintraub, BA’47, have incorporated McGill into their works. Heck, even Marvel Comics got in on the act – the hulking Canadian superhero Sasquatch once taught physics at McGill.

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