WINNER of the NSW Premier's Literary Award Multicultural NSW Award 2017
Shortlisted for the Nita B Kibble Award 2018
Shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction 2017
Shortlisted for the ABIA Biography Book of the Year 2017
Shortlisted for the Indie Award for Non-Fiction 2017
Shortlisted for the Stella Prize 2017
'Maxine Beneba Clarke is a powerful and fearless storyteller' Dave Eggers, international bestselling author of A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS.
Against anything I had ever been told was possible, I was turning white. On the surface of my skin, a miracle was quietly brewing . . .
Suburban Australia. Sweltering heat. Three bedroom blonde-brick. Family of five. Beat-up Ford Falcon. Vegemite on toast. Maxine Beneba Clarke's life is just like all the other Aussie kids on her street. Except for this one, glaring, inescapably obvious thing.
From one of Australia's most exciting writers, and the author of the multi-award-winning FOREIGN SOIL, comes THE HATE RACE: a powerful, funny, and at times devastating memoir about growing up black in white middle-class Australia.
'There is a tendency to talk about a young author such as Clarke as a 'writer to watch' with the expectation that she may, one day, achieve the extraordinary. With THE HATE RACE, she already has; don't watch, watch out.' Beejay Silcox The Australian
'THE HATE RACE has a heft to it that is at once steeped in history, and also exquisitely and playfully modern; it is lyrical, sincere and ironic, but above all, it is fierce.' - Books + Publishing
With force and grace, by stealth and shock, The Hate Race makes its point, gets under the reader's skin. - The Saturday Paper
The Hate Race is a moving memoir of national significance - The Stella Prize
Clarke's book is utterly compelling. And it might just break your heart. - AFR
She is not quiet in this memoir, and we need to hear her. - The Australian
When you think about racism as one big, swarming mass of hatred, you're ignoring the small words and actions that have huge impacts on individual people, but Maxine's book makes those aggressions impossible to ignore. The Hate Race ... should be essential reading for every Australian/every person. - Brodie Lancaster - author of No Way! Okay, Fine.
Maxine Beneba Clarke is THE powerful voice of Australian literature....A book like that is important. Maxine Beneba Clarke has written a very important book. An extraordinary book. A truly remarkable and powerful book. A book I hope as many people as possible will read. - Jon Page, owner of Pages & Pages Booksellers
Maxine Beneba Clarke's storytelling in The Hate Race has a heft to it that is at once steeped in history, and also exquisitely and playfully modern; it is lyrical, sincere and ironic, but above all, it is fierce. What starts out as a nostalgic childhood memoir soon turns into a revealing account of racism in Australia. The Hate Race explores the sun-drenched, suburban, middle-class childhood of Clarke and her siblings, born in Australia to parents of Jamaican and Guyanese descent who emigrated from England in the 1970s. It moves from West Indian folkloric flourishes into familiar childhood episodes, only to deliver, again and again, that appalling gut punch: that being black in Australia is to be the subject of racism. Technically, this book is near-perfect. At the beginning and end of chapters, and at select moments throughout the narrative, Clarke emphasises the storytelling with exquisite stylistic repetitions: 'this is how it sang', 'this is how it stalks us', 'this is how it happened, or else what's a story for'. Never before have I read narrative repetition executed with such precision, poetry and power. The Hate Race will appeal to anyone with an interest in Australian history, culture and identity today. - Books + Publishing
There is a tendency to talk about a young author such as Clarke as a 'writer to watch' with the expectation that she may, one day, achieve the extraordinary. With The Hate Race, she already has; don't watch, watch out. - The Australian
Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian poet and writer of Afro-Caribbean descent. She is the ABIA and Indie award-winning author of Carrying the World (2016), Foreign Soil (2017) and The Hate Race (2018). She is the author of five books for children, including the CBCA and Boston Globe/Horn Prize award-winning picture book The Patchwork Bike (2016, illustrated by Van T Rudd), and the critically acclaimed Wide Big World (2018, illustrated by Isobel Knowles). Maxine is the author-illustrator of two picture books, Fashionista (2019) and When We Say Black Lives Matter (2020). She also illustrated the picture book 11 Words for Love (2022), written by Randa Abdel-Fattah. We Know A Place is the third picture book she has both written and illustrated.