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Ninety years after they were thought to have died heroically in the Great War, the stretcher-bearer Simpson and his donkey journey through country Victoria, performing minor miracles and surviving on offerings left at war memorials. They are making their twenty-ninth, and perhaps final, attempt to find the country’s famed Inland Sea.
On the road north from Melbourne, Simpson and his weary donkey encounter a broke single mother, a suicidal Vietnam veteran, a refugee who has lost everything, an abused teenager and a deranged ex-teacher. These are society’s downtrodden, whom Simpson believes can be renewed by the healing waters of the sea.
In Simpson Returns, Wayne Macauley sticks a pin in the balloon of our national myth. A concise satire of Australian platitudes about fairness and egalitarianism, it is timely, devastating and witheringly funny.
‘Wayne Macauley is an Australian original.’
‘Macauley has published some of the most memorable fiction going in this country.’
‘He makes readers feel uncomfortable, unsettled in the everyday; one emerges from his books freshly uncertain.’