Shortlisted for the 2015 Stella Prize

Foreign Soil – Maxine Beneba Clarke

Fiction · Hachette

Foriegn Soil

About the book

“Her work is profoundly political, but it is also more than that.

– 2015 Stella Prize Judges

About the author

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Further Reading


“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… As well as being ideologically complex, the stories also resist easy moral judgements; Clarke encourages us to listen to the voices of those who are typically silenced.” – Susan Midalia, Australian Book Review

“Clarke wants us to be uncomfortable, to lose our bearings; she wants us to squirm. She wants us to have to adjust our expectations and learn the different languages in which her characters speak. She wants us to feel different and out of our depth. And she wants us, above all, to learn how to listen.” – Fiona Wright, Sydney Review of Books

‘These are tales of sheer storytelling prowess, and a deeply ambivalent take on hope and despair in the modern world.” – Martin Shaw, Readings

“Clarke’s startlingly emotive collection encompasses the scope of human experience: betrayal, love, foolishness, hope, helplessness and anger at “the way things are”.”– Lou Heinrich, Newtown Review of Books

“Clarke’s rhythmic prose…is a treat for the eyes and the ears.” – Emily Laidlaw, Killings


Judges’ report

Explore the latest from Stella

This month Stella celebrates Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray by Anita Heiss, longlisted for the 2022 Stella Prize. We asked Anita about her career, the …

Meet the judges

Help change the story

As a not-for-profit organisation with ambitious goals, Stella relies on the generous support of donors to help fund our work.

Every donation is important to us and allows Stella to continue its role as the leading voice for gender equality and cultural change in Australian literature.

Stella is a not-for-profit organisation with DGR status. All donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible.