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.
Winner of the Victorian Premier's Unpublished Manuscript Award 2013.
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...
About the Author
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.
"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'
The Weekend Australian
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 29th April 2014
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 21.5 x 13.4 x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.3
Edition Number: 1