Author(s): Maxine Beneba Clarke
Winner: 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Of The Year, Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) 2015 Debut Fiction, Indie Book Awards 2015 Victorian Premier's Unpublished Manuscript Award 2013 Shorlisted: ABIA Matt Richell Award for New Writers 2015 UTS Glenda Adams Debut Fiction, NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2015 The Stella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 '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 ...
2015 Australian Independent Bookseller Awards Category Winner - Debut Fiction
[Of Maxine's work] amazing - Tim Minchin One of the most compelling voices in Australian poetry this decade. - Overland an assured and skilful debut - The Weekend Australian 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 (Picaro Press, 2009) and NOTHING HERE NEEDS FIXING (Picaro Press, forthcoming). As a spoken word performer, Maxine's work has been delivered on stages and airways, and in festivals across the country. Her short fiction, essays and poetry have been published in numerous publications including Overland, The Age, Big Issue, Cordite Poetry Review, Harvest, Voiceworks, Going Down Swinging, Unusual Work and Peril. Maxine lives in Melbourne, Victoria.