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
Inga Simpson began her career as a professional writer for government before gaining a PhD in creative writing. In 2011, she took part in the Queensland Writers Centre Manuscript Development Program and, as a result, Hachette Australia published her first novel, Mr Wigg, in 2013. Nest, Inga's second novel, was published in 2014 and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Stella Prize and shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal. Inga's third novel, the acclaimed Where the Trees Were, was published in 2016.
Inga won the final Eric Rolls Prize for her nature writing and completed a second PhD, exploring the history of Australian nature writers. Inga's account of her love of Australian nature and life with trees, Understory, was published in 2017. Her first book for children, The Book of Australian Trees, illustrated by Alicia Rogerson, was published in 2021. While finishing the first draft of The Last Woman in the World, Inga was evacuated twice as bushfires engulfed surrounding settlements. She lives near the coast among trees.