Maxine Beneba Clarke is a widely published Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent. Maxine's short fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in numerous publications including Overland, The Age, Meanjin, The Saturday Paper and The Big Issue. Her critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the ABIA for Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2015 and the 2015 Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Matt Richell Award for New Writing at the 2015 ABIAs and the 2015 Stella Prize. She was also named as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Novelists for 2015. Maxine has published three poetry collections including Carrying the World, which won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry 2017 and was shortlisted for the Colin Roderick Award. The Hate Race, a memoir about growing up black in Australia won the NSW Premier's Literary Award Multicultural NSW Award 2017 and was shortlisted for an ABIA, an Indie Award, the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and Stella Prize. The Patchwork Bike, Maxine's first picture book with Van T. Rudd was a CBCA Honour Book for 2017. Her children's books include Wide, Big World, Fashionista and When We Say Black Lives Matter.
With force and grace, by stealth and shock, The Hate Race makes its point, gets under the reader's skin. - The Saturday PaperThe Hate Race is a moving memoir of national significance - The Stella PrizeClarke's book is utterly compelling. And it might just break your heart. - AFRShe is not quiet in this memoir, and we need to hear her. - The AustralianWhen you think about racism as one big, swarming mass of hatred, you're ignoring the small words and actions that have huge impacts on individual people, but Maxine's book makes those aggressions impossible to ignore. The Hate Race ... should be essential reading for every Australian/every person. - Brodie Lancaster - author of No Way! Okay, Fine.Maxine Beneba Clarke is THE powerful voice of Australian literature....A book like that is important. Maxine Beneba Clarke has written a very important book. An extraordinary book. A truly remarkable and powerful book. A book I hope as many people as possible will read. - Jon Page, owner of Pages & Pages BooksellersMaxine Beneba Clarke's storytelling in The Hate Race has a heft to it that is at once steeped in history, and also exquisitely and playfully modern; it is lyrical, sincere and ironic, but above all, it is fierce. What starts out as a nostalgic childhood memoir soon turns into a revealing account of racism in Australia. The Hate Race explores the sun-drenched, suburban, middle-class childhood of Clarke and her siblings, born in Australia to parents of Jamaican and Guyanese descent who emigrated from England in the 1970s. It moves from West Indian folkloric flourishes into familiar childhood episodes, only to deliver, again and again, that appalling gut punch: that being black in Australia is to be the subject of racism. Technically, this book is near-perfect. At the beginning and end of chapters, and at select moments throughout the narrative, Clarke emphasises the storytelling with exquisite stylistic repetitions: 'this is how it sang', 'this is how it stalks us', 'this is how it happened, or else what's a story for'. Never before have I read narrative repetition executed with such precision, poetry and power. The Hate Race will appeal to anyone with an interest in Australian history, culture and identity today. - Books + PublishingThere is a tendency to talk about a young author such as Clarke as a 'writer to watch' with the expectation that she may, one day, achieve the extraordinary. With The Hate Race, she already has; don't watch, watch out. - The Australian