Club Cowra

Award-Winning Author Inga Simpson Guest At Cowra Library

Written by: The Cowra Phoenix

IMAGE: Highly acclaimed author Inga Simpson will host a presentation at Cowra Library next Wednesday.

The Cowra Library will host award winning author Inga Simpson next Wednesday, 12th April, from 10:30am, as part of the launch of her latest book, ‘Willowman’.

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 the old country, has a contemporary home in the Antipodes, with Allan Reader keeping the family business alive in a small workshop. Allan lives alone, all but estranged from his adult daughter, quietly going about his days with the cricket commentary for company.

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 Allan and bringing him back into himself. But can Allan’s fledgling renaissance - hanging as it does on the magic of that bat - carry on after Harrow is cursed 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. Bookings are essential at

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