"The understorey is where I live, alongside these plants and creatures. I tend the forest, stand at the foot of trees and look up, gather what has fallen."
Inga Simpson, UNDERSTORY (2017)
Inga Simpson is an Australian novelist and nature writer. Her latest book is Willowman (Hachette Australia), which has been longlisted for the 2023 Indie Book Awards.
The Last Woman in the World (Hachette 2021) was shortlisted for the Margaret and Colin Roderick literary Award and the Indie Book Award for Fiction.
Her first novel, Mr Wigg (Hachette 2013), was shortlisted for the Indie Award for Debut Fiction. Nest (Hachette 2014) was longlisted for the Miles Franklin, the Stella Prize, and shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal. And Where the Trees Were (Hachette 2016) was longlisted for the Miles Franklin, an ABIA Award for Fiction, The Green Carnation Prize, and shortlisted for the Indie Award for Fiction.
Understory: a life with trees (Hachette 2017), Inga's first book-length work of nature writing, was shortlisted for the Adelaide Writers Week prize for nonfiction.
The Book of Australian Trees (Lothian 2021) illustrated by Alicia Rogerson is Inga's first book for children.
Inga has PhDs in creative writing and English literature, with her most recent thesis exploring the history of Australian nature writing.
Her short stories and essays have been published in Wonderground, Chicago Quarterly Review, Openbook, Review of Australian Fiction, Griffith Review, Clues, Writing Queensland, and The Dictionary of Literary Biography. Inga was also the winner of the (final) Eric Rolls nature writing prize for her essay “Triangulation.”
Inga's first career was as a professional writer and researcher, including for federal Parliament and the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
She grew up in central west NSW, and has lived in Canberra, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast hinterland. She has now settled on the far south coast of NSW.
OUT NOW !
'What a wonderful book. What a read. A love story to cricket, to families, to craft and to music. Beautifully written' MICHAEL BRISSENDEN
'Not since Jasper Jones have I been so utterly spellbound by the next ball, the state of the pitch and the intricacies of scoring' KATE MILDENHALL
'Heartfelt . . . Uplifting . . . Simpson explores family, priorities, the pain of making difficult choices and the knowledge that it's never too late to start over. This is an uplifting book that will satisfy both cricket lovers and readers who enjoy loving stories about beginning again' BOOKS+PUBLISHING
'A fabulous novel. Inga Simpson brings all her craft and sensitivity to a story that has never been told, and now that she has done it, it feels like this was a story that was needing to be told. With her art, Inga joins the likes of Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy in the vanguard of cricket's exciting new revolution. Long may it last' MALCOLM KNOX
'Joyous storytelling at its best. I was enthralled' SARAH WINMAN, author of Still Life.
'I bloody loved this - a gorgeous, heartbreaking examination of so much more than cricket' ROBBIE ARNOTT, author of Limberlost.
From the critically acclaimed author of Mr Wigg comes an enthralling literary novel about a batmaker and a gifted young cricketer, set around the time the game began changing. For fans of Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding and Joseph O'Neill's Netherland.
Cricket has a willow heart. Batmakers around the world have tried everything, crafting bats from birch, maple, ash, even poplars . . . After two hundred years, cricket bat making is still beholden to a single species: Salix alba caerulea - or white willow
Reader Cricket Bats, one of the last traditional batmakers back in England, has a contemporary home in the Antipodes, with Allan Reader keeping the family business alive in a small workshop in Melbourne.
When Todd Harrow, a gifted young batter, catches Allan's eye, a spark is lit and Allan decides to make a Reader bat for him, selecting the best piece of willow he's harvested in years to do so.
As Harrow charts a meteoric rise to the highest echelons of the sport, leaving his equally talented sister's dreams in his wake, Allan's magical bat takes centre stage as well, awakening something in him. But can Allan's fledgling renaissance - hanging as it does on the magic of that bat - carry on after Harrow is stricken by injury and a strained personal life?
Set as the new short form of the game began to gain prominence, Willowman is a love letter to the art and beauty of cricket and a meditation on the inner lives of certain kinds of men and women, for whom it is a way of life. Award-winning author Inga Simpson writes exquisitely about a national sport you will never view the same way again.
‘At times I read Willowman breathlessly, in its celebration of the highs and lows of cricket, the drama and daydream, the hope and despair, the catches and misses and final balls. Other times it was a balm for the nervous system, a reflection on the art of sport, the thrill of paying attention, the aliveness of the natural world. Moving, gripping, authentic, so tenderly-told; at once a page-turner and a life-giving meditation – Willowman is just magic’ Brooke Davis
The Last Woman In The World
AFTER THE FIRES.
AFTER THE VIRUS.
A remarkable literary novel from the multi-award-nominated Australian writer.
It's night, and the walls of Rachel's home creak as they settle into the cover of darkness. Fear has led her to a reclusive life on the land, her only occasional contact with her sister.
A hammering on the door. There stands a mother, Hannah, and her sick baby. They are running for their lives from a mysterious death sweeping the Australian countryside.
Now Rachel must face her worst fears: should she take up the fight to help these strangers survive in a society she has rejected for so long?
From the Miles Franklin- and Stella Prize-longlisted author, who lived through the Australian fires, The Last Woman in the World looks at how we treat our world and each other - and what it is that might ultimately redeem us.
For fans of BIRDBOX and A QUIET PLACE, this remarkable literary thriller holds a mirror up to the changed world we live in today.
'creepy and chilling, this becomes a hell-for-leather survival race through burning countryside' THE OBSERVER
'Simpson's page-turner layers precise nature writing with a conspiratorial tone for our times, turning in a gripping apocalyptic thriller that infects the sublime features of the landscape with primal fear' THE GUARDIAN
'enthralling . . . a powerful allegory . . . every passage swells with the momentum of an action-flick. Each page is shaped with an impressive, world-building cinematic scope' JESSIE TU
The Last Woman in the World is heart-racing, page-turning, hiding-under-the-doona stuff. A smart and pacey thriller that is also a lament for a world we have failed to care for.
bestselling author of
The Mother Fault
The Last Woman in the World is a novel of fear, fire and an uncertain future. A powerful narrative in Inga Simpson's own unique voice. Horrifying, yet humane and ultimately hopeful - a masterwork.
The Last Woman in the World will grab you and not let go. A necessary read that is sure to set the literary world on fire.
author of VOX
World Fantasy Award-winning author of
The Bitterwood Bible
For all interviews, festival, speaking, and media enquiries, please contact:
Madison Garratt - Senior Publicist, Hachette Australia
For all rights enquiries, please contact:
Sarah Brooks, Rights and Publishing Manager, Hachette Australia
Readers wishing to contact Inga:
PO Box 557, Moruya, NSW 2537.