Simpson Returns, Text Publishing, 2019. ISBN
April 2019. Simpson Returns, a novella, released through Text
- 29 April 2019. 10.30am - an interview on ABC Radio National's
- 16 May 2019. 6.30pm - an
event at Neighbourhood Books, 55 High Street,
- 22 May 2019. 12.10pm -
interview with Mel Cranenburg on 3RRR's Backstory.
"Macauley’s use of an
other-worldly narrative to bring real-world problems
into focus is probably one of Simpson
Returns’s greatest strengths.
The help of a ghostly war hero and donkey, offered to those that we
seem to unnecessarily punish or deny help, becomes a fitting analogy
the particularly cruel Australia in which we currently live.
Macauley’s novella has the sheen of a comedy,
but it should
also be given credit for being so uncomfortably sad."
Chris Somerville, Readings Monthly
"Macauley is a mean satirist with a gift for finding
in apparently soft targets. In this book... the sweetness of the
right there on the surface, which makes it a discomfiting vehicle
the stories of the lost souls he meets along the way...
an unusual renewal of an ordinary myth"
Ronnie Scott, The Saturday Paper
"Macauley's novels are consistently savage critiques of
delusions, and Simpson Returns
is no exception. He brings considerable
depth to his portrayal of our social fragility and the destructive
all-pervasive darkness underneath. A must read."
Peter Donoughue, Booknotes
"Wayne Macauley's novella is a limpid meditation on the nature
of selflessness and
compassion, juxtaposed with striking, bleak, often piteous tales from
nation tends to grind underfoot. It compels us to reflect on the gap
between aspiration and action, on why the ideals Simpson embodies
in our culture don't play a larger role in everyday life."
Cameron Woodhead, The Age
"Much has been written about Simpson and the donkey. But
novelist Wayne Macauley
has re-cast Simpson in far more human terms than much of the early (and
later pop) historiography,
as the eternal helper wandering through a later Australian landscape,
social and geographic.
It is masterful and beautiful, and a triumph in thought-provocation.
Simpson Returns and Romain Fathi’s Our
Corner of the Somme are the most challenging
and thought-provoking things I’ve read about Anzac since the
end of the profligate four-year centenary."
Paul Daley, The Guardian