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In this collection of award-winning stories, Melbourne writer Maxine Beneba Clarke has given a voice to the disenfranchised, the lost, the downtrodden and the mistreated. It will challenge you, it will have you by the heartstrings. This is contemporary fiction at its finest.
Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist 2015
Literary Fiction Of The Year, Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) 2015
Debut Fiction, Indie Book Awards 2015
Victorian Premier's Unpublished Manuscript Award 2013
ABIA Matt Richell Award for New Writers 2015
UTS Glenda Adams Debut Fiction, NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2015
The Stella Prize 2015
Longlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award 2015
Contains the brand new story AVIATION.
'Maxine Beneba Clarke is a powerful and fearless storyteller, and this collection - written with exquisite sensitivity and yet uncompromising - will stay with you with the force of elemental truth. Clarke is the real deal, and will, if we're lucky, be an essential voice in world literature for years to come.' - Dave Eggers bestselling author of A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS and many more.
'Foreign Soil is a collection of outstanding literary quality and promise. Clarke is a confident and highly skilled writer.' - Hannah Kent, bestselling author of BURIAL RITES
'an assured and skilful debut' - WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN
In Melbourne's western suburbs, in a dilapidated block of flats overhanging the rattling Footscray train lines, a young black mother is working on a collection of stories.
The book is called FOREIGN SOIL. Inside its covers, a desperate asylum seeker is pacing the hallways of Sydney's notorious Villawood detention centre, a seven-year-old Sudanese boy has found solace in a patchwork bike, an enraged black militant is on the warpath through the rebel squats of 1960s Brixton, a Mississippi housewife decides to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her son from small-town ignorance, a young woman leaves rural Jamaica in search of her destiny, and a Sydney schoolgirl loses her way.
The young mother keeps writing, the rejection letters keep arriving . . .
an assured and skilful debut - The Weekend Australian
[Of Maxine's work] amazing - Tim Minchin
One of the most compelling voices in Australian poetry this decade. - Overland
Clarke lobs a molotov under any reader expecting a literary comfort zone ... this marks the arrival of a major new voice in the Australian literary landscape - Bookseller & Publisher
Maxine Beneba Clarke is a widely published Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent and the author of the poetry collections Gil Scott Heron Is on Parole and Nothing Here Needs Fixing. Maxine's short fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in numerous publications including Overland, The Age, Meanjin, The Saturday Paper and The Big Issue. Her critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil (2014) won the ABIA for Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2015, the 2015 Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction, and Maxine was also named as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Novelists for 2015, as well as being shortlisted for the Matt Richell Award for New Writing at the 2015 ABIAs and the 2015 Stella Prize. Carrying the World, Maxine's collection of poetry, won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry 2017 and was shortlisted for the Colin Roderick Award. The Hate Race, a memoir about growing up black in Australia won the NSW Premier's Multicultural NSW Award and was shortlisted for an ABIA, an Indie Award, the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and The Stella Prize. The Patchwork Bike, Maxine's first picture book with Van T. Rudd was a CBCA Honour Book for 2017.