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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 . . .

‘Maxine Beneba Clarke is the real deal, and will, if we’re lucky, be an essential voice in world literature for years to come.’ Dave Eggers

Reviews

For any short story readers out there, this is the place to start.
Elle UK, the Best New Books for 2016
Right from the very first story, Foreign Soil hits with a solid emotional punch and shows how easily and convincingly Clarke can adopt her character's voices. This is really very good and, if you're concerned with identity or love how language can be shaped, you should venture onto Clarke's territory.
Stylist