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Publisher's Summary

'Against anything I had ever been told was possible, I was turning white. On the surface of my skin, a miracle was quietly brewing....'

Suburban Australia. Sweltering heat. Three-bedroom blonde brick. Family of five. Beat-up Ford Falcon. Vegemite on toast. Maxine Beneba Clarke's life is just like all the other Aussie kids' on her street. Except for this one glaring, inescapably obvious thing.

From one of Australia's most exciting writers and the author of the multiaward-winning Foreign Soil comes The Hate Race: a powerful, funny, and at times devastating memoir about growing up black in white middle-class Australia.

©2016 Maxine Beneba Clarke (P)2016 Hachette Australia Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Maxine Beneba Clarke is a powerful and fearless storyteller." (Dave Eggers, international best-selling author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
"Technically, this book is near-perfect." (Books + Publishing - five stars)
"Maxine 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." (Amy Vuleta, Books + Publishing)
"It's unputdownable." (Jane Hutcheon, host of One Plus One)

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A must listen for Australians

This is a beautifully crafted, moving, honest, heart wrenching book. People who've experienced racism would surely be moved and validated by Clarke's complex, funny, sad and sensitive tale of her own childhood. People who deny racism's impact in Australia will gain immensely by reading this story as it reveals how pervasive it is and how deeply impactful upon identity it can be. I will never forget this book.

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  • Anthony Earl
  • 02-18-17

Eye-opening and outstanding

This is heart-wrenching. Worth the time for anyone hoping to understand what it is like to be an Australian from a non-white background.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • jo Casey
  • 08-30-17

Beautifully narrated and written.

I share this story. It is also mine as with many people who have migrated to Australia. Hearing this story helped me to see how most people just dont realize how harsh their words feel.
Many people in Australia are ignorant and uneducated to the rest of the world. This is an island protected by a huge amount of water. Many Australians have never traveled and are regurgitating the racism of their parents.
I feel different and sometimes detest it unless we are in a multiracial group. Thats when we are happiest! We do clock each other when we see another person in a crowd of brown skin.
We try to get on with it but are constantly reminded when an innocent stranger asks "where are you from?" then again "no WHERE are YOU from!" really asking what is your genetic background. Most people believe it is an innocent and just curious question.
I feel far away from my family and have made a new family here. i love my family here. My families history also has slave trade mass genocide rape and sadness. It is time to move on and forgive the past. If only strangers didnt keep asking and by this are reminding me of it.
The solution for me has been to teach my children resilience and hopefully they will rise above. I hope someday the leaders of our country reflect the diversity and the indigenous footprint laid here long ago.
This book should be on a list of reading for High School.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Katie Batty
  • 06-19-17

Insightful story

A powerful personal story showing the devastating and ongoing impacts racism has on people's lives.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Giorgia Johnson
  • 04-06-17

Beautiful and brutal

Beautifully written and performed, singing brutal truths about racism and bullying growing up black in suburban Sydney, and still resonating now. Listening, I wept in bitter anger, as Maxine tells the story of her school days, dismayingly familiar monstrous classmates and disappointing teachers, and laughed at her charming descriptions of life in the 70's and 80's from daggy dad, ovalteenies and cabbage patch kids to Nick the Greeks disastrous hair straightening....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nicmacc
  • 12-06-17

Brilliant!

Loved this story, sad but true. I grew up in the area book was set in and I can relate.

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  • M. O'Brien
  • 10-01-17

Racial Relations in modern Australia

Reading 'the world & me' recently I stupidly thought this level of racism didn't exist in Australia. How naive!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-06-17

The hate race

A gripping tale of Maxine's life growing up amongst racist, stereotypical 80's Sydney. I can get much relate to this. Laughter, tears and undignifying.

Highly recommended.

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  • "gehteuchnichtsan"
  • 10-30-16

Shocking story

What Maxine had to go through as the only black kid (besides her sister and brother) in an all white neighborhood is truly shocking. Blatant, mean, nasty racism comes to light. As she is telling the story from her point of view it is sometimes a bit much complaining. But you cannot blame her for that.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful