2022 Indie Shortlisted- The Last Woman in the World by Inga Simpson


AFTER THE FIRES. AFTER THE VIRUS. THEY CAME. 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, with a 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 critically acclaimed author of Mr Wigg and Nest, 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. ‘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 ‘Chilling in its warnings. Powerful’ Good Reading ‘This novel is fast-paced, adrenalin-fuelled – and dramatic enough to keep me reading into the night’ Sarah L’Estrange, ABC Online ‘This book is deeply affecting. Inga Simpson writes with literary brilliance. The Last Woman in the World is an action driven novel, but it is also intensely philosophical, a clever study of character and intensely beautiful. Many fine books have been published in Australia in the last couple of years . . .

This is amongst the best. It will stay with me long after the last page was turned’ Living Arts Canberra ‘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.’ Kate Mildenhall, 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 unique voice. Horrifying, yet humane and ultimately hopeful – a masterwork’ Angela Slatter, World Fantasy Award-winning author of The Bitterwood Bible ‘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’ Christina Dalcher, author of VOX ‘An eerie fiction that mirrors the chaos that has descended on Australians recently. A heart-racing read fitting for our times’ Refinery29 Australia ‘Simpson is a graceful writer’ The Australian ‘Inga Simpson writes wondrously’ Good Readi