Synopses & Reviews
From a new voice in international fiction, a prize-winning collection of stories that cross the world—Africa, London, the West Indies, Australia—and express the global experience "with exquisite sensitivity" (Dave Eggers, author of The Circle).
In this collection of award-winning stories, Maxine Beneba Clarke gives voice to the disenfranchised, the lost, and the mistreated. Her stories will challenge you, move you, and change the way you view this complex world we inhabit.
Within these pages, 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 war-path 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.
In the bestselling tradition of novelists such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Marlon James, this urgent, poetic, and essential work announces the arrival of a fresh and talented voice in international fiction.
"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
"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
About the Author
Maxine Beneba Clarke is a novelist, poet, and editor living in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to being a recipient of the Hazel Rowley Fellowship for Biography she is also the winner of the 2013 Victorian Premier’s Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, the Debut Fiction Indie Award and the Literary Fiction Book of the Year in the Australian Book Industry Awards. Foreign Soil is Maxine’s first book.
Maxine Beneba Clarke on PowellsBooks.Blog
Last year, when my book of short fiction, Foreign Soil
, was released in the United Kingdom, I found myself on the phone with BBC radio, doing a pre-interview. At the end of our lively and in-depth conversation, the producer asked: "So who are the other Australian writers of Afro-Caribbean descent, or from a similar background, who are working in literary fiction...