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Description - Unpolished Gem by Alice Pung

This story does not begin on a boat. Nor does it contain any wild swans or falling leaves.
In a wonderland called Footscray, a girl named Alice and her Chinese-Cambodian family pursue the Australian Dream - Asian style. Armed with an ocker accent, Alice dives head-first into schooling, romance and the getting of wisdom. Her mother becomes an Aussie battler - an outworker, that is. Her father embraces the miracle of franchising and opens an electrical-appliance store. And every day her grandmother blesses Father Government for giving old people money.
Unpolished Gem is a book rich in comedy, a loving and irreverent portrait of a family, its everyday struggles and bittersweet triumphs. With it, Australian writing gains an unforgettable new voice.
'This is a sophisticated and fiercely intelligent book.' Helen Garner
'A memoir so vivid that images from it linger behind your eyelids.' The Age
'Unpolished Gem is virtuoso storytelling.' The Australian

Buy Unpolished Gem by Alice Pung from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9781863951586
ISBN-10: 186395158X
Format: Paperback / softback
(212mm x 137mm x 22mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Black Inc.
Publisher: Black Inc.
Publish Date: 28-Aug-2006
Country of Publication: Australia

Other Editions - Unpolished Gem by Alice Pung

Book Reviews - Unpolished Gem by Alice Pung

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Book Review: Unpolished Gem by Alice Pung - Reviewed by (10 Jun 2011)

After hearing Alice Pung speak at a Youth Summit, I (and many other attendees!) rushed to read her memoire. In it, she tells her family's story of rebuilding their lives in Australia after escaping Pol Pott's regime in Cambodia.

This is a touching and thoughtful book, describing an Australia which may be both familiar and unfamiliar to many readers. At times she reinforces stereotypes and at others challenges them - it is all very cleverly done and her writing is very, very evocative. It is impossible not to be drawn into this story and gain some understanding of the complexity of what it means to be "Australian".


Author Biography - Alice Pung

Alice Pung is a writer, editor, teacher and lawyer based in Melbourne. Born a month after her Chinese parents fled from Cambodia to Australia as asylum seekers from Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge Regime, Alice has used her shared family's experiences to write stories that captivate all readers. She has won numerous awards including the 2007 Newcomer of the Year Award in the Australia Book Industry Awards for her first book Unpolished Gem. Her next book Her Father's Daughter won the Western Australia Premier's Book Award for Non Fiction, and it was also shortlisted for the Premier's Literary Awards in Victoria and New South Wales, and nominated also in the Queensland Literary Awards. Laurinda, Alice's first novel, was published in 2014 and was one of Readings' Top 100 bestselling books for the year. She is writing four books around the character Marly for Penguin's Our Australian Girl series. Alice's writing has appeared in many notable publications including the Monthly, the Age, Meanjin, Best Australian Stories and Best Australian Essays. Alice edited Growing Up Asian in Australia, a collection of personal accounts, essays, short stories and poetry which is currently a set text for the VCE English context on Identity and Belonging. Alice lives with her husband at Janet Clarke Hall

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