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Willowman

On sale

7th March 2024

Price: £9.99

Selected:  Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780733649592

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SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKPEOPLE ADULT FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ACT NOTABLE BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION 2023

Willowman may well be the perfect Australian novel’ Readings

‘Beguiling and entertaining’ PETER LALOR, Weekend Australian

‘A sweet strike that goes beyond the boundary’ The Age

‘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


Allan Reader, one of the last traditional batmakers in the country, keeps his 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, Allan’s 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?


‘A six all the way: Willowman is a novel off the middle of the bat’ Sydney Morning Herald

‘These charismatic characters rise memorable from the page, stroke by inspired stroke, ball by crafty ball, living vividly through cricket history’ Courier Mail

‘A book for the summer, one to throw in the kitbag to read during rain delays, or between overs in the stands, to read even if you’re not a fan of the game’ Canberra Times

‘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

‘A love story to cricket, to families, to craft and to music. Beautifully written’ MICHAEL BRISSENDEN

‘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’ MALCOLM KNOX

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