Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke

img_20161009_115414

It is well-documented on this blog that I lack a certain affinity for short story collections – they just aren’t my jam. Too often they leave me wanting more, and not in a ‘wow that was good, I could read 500 more of those’ kind of way, it’s more of a ‘is that it?’ kind of way. And full disclosure, I haven’t read a heap of short story collections, but I’ve read some critically acclaimed ones – I’ve tried Alice Munro, George Saunders and Karen Russell – and I just couldn’t get into them.

Well, I am pleased to announce that I have finally found a collection that I liked, nay loved. Maxine Beneba Clarke’s Foreign Soil was fantastic. Even though all of the stories are completely separate – separate stories, separate lives, separate countries – they felt connected in some way, so much so that going from one story straight into the next never left me feeling disjointed – it all felt natural and smooth.

The stories are grim and harsh at times, but Clarke is such a great writer and she treats her subjects with the utmost care and respect. The characters are super vivid and their stories are heart-breaking at times, funny at others, but always interesting. She doesn’t shy away from any of the harsh realities of modern life – the story about asylum seekers in the Villawood detention centre is particularly raw and gut-wrenching.

I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a diverse read – I give it 4.5 out of 5 girls trapped on the monkey bars (you’ll understand when you read it…)

 

 

Advertisements

Categories: Book life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow born and read on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 233 other followers

Instagram

Very happy with my latest library book haul
#booksarelife #bookstagram #booksofinstagram #librarytime #bookhaul #amreading
%d bloggers like this: