Maxine Beneba Clarke

In her Introduction to The Best Australian Stories 2017, Maxine Beneba Clarke describes how the best short fiction leaves readers with ‘a haunting: a deep shifting of self, precipitated by impossibly few words’. Many of the stories here achieve this, inserting an image or idea into the reader’s mind and leaving it there to worry ...

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The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke & Carrying the World by Maxine Beneba Clarke

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October 2016, no. 385

Across two new titles, Maxine Beneba Clarke offers an unflinching portrayal of the impact of racism, and transcends form in turning a lens on Australian society ...

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News from the the Editor's Desk in the August issue of Australian Book Review.

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News from the the Editor's Desk in the September issue of Australian Book Review.

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Bigger Thomas, the anguished anti-hero in Richard Wright’s Native Son, never fails to make me seethe and squirm with discomfort. Although obviously not fictional, Maya Angelou was so engaging I followed her spirit right through her seven autobiographies.

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In the spirit of our annual ‘Books of the Year’ feature, in which we ask a range of writers and critics to nominate their favourite new fiction and non-fiction titles, we asked ten Australian short story writers to nominate their favourite short story collections and individual stories. As this is the first time we have run a short-story themed feature of this nature, our ten writers were free to nominate older titles if they wished to do so. Our only request was that at least one of their selections should have been published recently and that at least one be by an Australian author.

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Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke

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June–July 2014, no. 362

Maxine Beneba Clarke is already a well-known Melbourne voice: a fiction writer and slam poet with an enthusiastic following. Now we have her first collection of short stories, Foreign Soil – the winner of the 2013 Victorian Premier’s Award for an Unpublished Manuscript – and it is a remarkable collection indeed. While its ten stories, ranging in length from fifteen to fifty pages, are unashamedly political, they are never reductively polemical. Nourished by Clarke’s empathetic imagination, her narratives create the lived experience of suffering and despair, resilience and hope, for the powerless, the discarded, the socially adrift.

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