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‘Can you come to my party?’: What it’s like to have your novel studied at schools

For this Spectrum series, we asked six authors to write about a time they changed their mind.

For Maxine Beneba Clarke, the excitement of being included on school reading lists was quickly matched by the realities of digital connection.

  • Maxine Beneba Clarke
  • The Sydney Morning Herald

I was high-schooled in the ’90s in suburban Sydney.

My HSC English program was Shakespeare, Orwell and Austen.

Which, as a Black kid of Afro-Caribbean heritage, hardly stoked my writerly inclinations.

So, some 20 years later, when my publishers told me they’d had a call for copies of my book Foreign Soil to be sent for consideration for the VCE syllabus in my now home state of Victoria, I laughed. Foreign Soil is…

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