'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 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.

The young mother keeps writing, the rejection letters keep arriving...'

This was definitely one of the best short story collections I have ever read.

Maxine Beneba Clarke did a fantastic job with this collection. Short story collections can be a bit hit or miss for me but there wasn’t a story in this collection that I didn’t connect with.

The majority of the characters in these stories are people of colour and the settings of these stories range from the West Indies, to England and Australia. With all of the stories exploring elements of difference between race, gender and sexuality.

This heartbreaking collection of short stories gives a voice to the disenfranchised, the downtrodden and the mistreated. I was so engaged in this story, I couldn't put it down. Every story in this book packed a truly emotional punch.

Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke will break your heart, open your eyes and stay with you long after the final page.

Published by Geramie Kate Barker