The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke

In this powerful memoir, Maxine Beneba Clarke chronicles her upbringing in Australia. Filled with familiar and funny tales about growing up in the 80’s and 90’s in Australia. And then there is the other side, The hatred, the racism and the heartbreaking stories of growing up ‘Brown’ in the 80’s and 90’s in Australian suburbia.

This captivating book will stay with you long after the final page.

As a white Australian, this book was deeply confronting and at times hard to read. I found myself wanting to yell at people in this book and to just reach out and hug Maxine.

The writing in this book isn’t perfect, the way the stories are woven together can sometimes be a little jarring. After the first few chapters you get use to it so it becomes less noticeable. As you get further into this book the writing doesn’t really matter because the story that is being told is a times deeply heartbreaking, you are so moved by the narrative you just don’t care about the actual writing.

I fortunately have never had to deal with this sort of hatred. I have unfortunately witnessed hatred and racism, I just didn’t realise the extent of the ‘accidental racism’ for lack of a better way to describe it.

I am not that much younger than Maxine and I found myself thinking back to my own childhood, wondering if I was guilty of saying or acting this way.

Maxine Beneba Clarke’s moving and truly eye-opening memoir should be read by all, especially in High Schools across Australia.

If you havent read this book, do it now. The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke is definatly going to stay with me and hopefully influence me in the future.

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