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The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project: Don Tillman 1

Don Tillman, Book One

Graeme Simsion

  • awardWinner, Australian Book Industry Awards, Book of the Year, 2014
  • awardWinner, Victorian Premier’s Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript, 2012
  • awardShortlisted, ABA Nielsen BookData Booksellers Choice Award, 2014
  • awardShortlisted, The Indie Awards, 2014
  • awardShortlisted, Waverton Good Read Award, United Kingdom, 2014
  • awardLonglisted, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Ireland, 2015
  • Don Tillman is getting married. He just doesn’t know who to yet.

    But he has designed the Wife Project, using a sixteen-page questionnaire to help him find the perfect partner. She will most definitely not be a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

    Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also fiery and intelligent and beautiful. And on a quest of her own to find her biological father—a search that Don, a professor of genetics, might just be able to help her with.

    The Wife Project teaches Don some unexpected things. Why earlobe length is an inadequate predictor of sexual attraction. Why quick-dry clothes aren’t appropriate attire in New York. Why he’s never been on a second date. And why, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love: love finds you.

    Take one of The Rosie Project quizzes


    ‘If you, like Don Tillman, would like to try lobster on Tuesday, click here for a great recipe from Ezard: Crayfish, Mango and Avocado Salad with Wasabi Flying Fish Roe, Soy and Bonito Dressing and Crispy Seaweed Salad.


    Watch and listen to Graeme reading from The Rosie Project at UK World Book Night, 2013.


    Booktopia interview
    Shearer’s Bookshop interview
    Joan’s Pick (Whitcoulls NZ)
    The Small Picture Podcasts
    ABC Radio Perth review
    Boomerang Books profile
    The Wheeler Centre Q&A
    Radio NZ interview
    Australian Writers' Centre podcast
    BBC Radio 2 interview  
    Canberra Readers, Writers and Storytellers Festival

    Graeme Simsion
    About the Author

    Graeme Simsion was born in Auckland and is a Melbourne-based writer of novels, short stories, plays, screenplays and two non-fiction books.

    The Rosie Projectbegan life as a screenplay, winning the Australian Writers Guild/Inscription Award for Best Romantic Comedy before being adapted into a novel. It went on to win the 2012 Victorian Premier’s...

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    Text publication date:
    29 March 2016
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    Praise for Graeme Simsion
    andThe Rosie Project

    ‘Funny and heartwarming, a gem of a book.’

    The Rosie Project is 1930s screwball comedy updated for 2013. Hepburn and Grant in Bringing Up Baby, or Rosalind Russell and Grant in His Girl Friday have the exact same pitch, intelligence, wit and farce with a love story at the centre of it all. Madcap indeed, but like those films The Rosie Project underscored with writing meticulously judged…Extremely loud and incredibly long applause.’

    ‘What an endearing, funny book…a quirky love story about belonging with poignant undertones on the need for us all to be more tolerant of those with differences. A must read.’

    ‘The charm of this story is Simsion’s affectionate depiction of his strange, flawed, infuriating, logical and always amusing protagonist.’

    ‘Laugh-out loud funny, poignant and so ingenious and compelling you feel as if you want to jump into the world of the novel and join in. In Don’s confessionals, there are echoes of Bridget Jones, writer Nick Hornby and Amelie in the French movie hit…but essentially Don Tillman is utterly and beautifully unique and, be warned, you will fall in love with him.’

    ‘One of the quirkiest, most adorable novels I’ve come across…This is a fresh, funny story, written with verve and great timing…I loved The Rosie Project. It’s an entertaining read from start to finish, thoughtful and fun, very different and utterly charming - a brilliant first novel from a mature, clever writer.’

    ‘Graeme Simsion has created perhaps the first thoroughly comic autistic hero…This good-hearted, pacy, thoroughly enjoyable novel takes a significant step towards showing that all human variants are a potential source of life‑affirming comedy.’

    ‘Funny, endearing, and pure, wonderful escapism, this debut tells the story of the logical Professor Don Tillman and his unscientific search for a wife.’

    ‘…Simsion has fashioned a very funny and touching love story…he has provided a clever satire on modern, internet-led dating, demonstrating that finding the right partner is not about the ticking of boxes, but something else: chancing upon something flawed and intangible and great, which burns like a mysterious fire.’

    ‘Imagine the literary equivalent of one of those lamps prescribed for sufferers of seasonal affective disorder—a book that found the crack in our seemingly interminable winter to let laughter and light flood in.’

    ‘[Don Tillman is] one of the most endearing, charming and fascinating literary characters I have met in a long time.’

    ‘Crackling with wit and boasting an almost perfectly calibrated heartbreak-to-romance ratio, Graeme Simsion’s delightful debut, The Rosie Project, joins ranks with the best romantic comedies of our age.’

    ‘An extraordinarily clever, funny, and moving book about being comfortable with who you are and what you’re good at. I’m sending copies to several friends and hope to re-read it later this year. This is one of the most profound novels I’ve read in a long time.’

    Other editions ofThe Rosie Project