Author(s): Alice Pung
This is an original take on a classic story - how a child of immigrants moves between two cultures. In place of piety and predictability, however, Unpolished Gem offers a vivid and ironic sense of both worlds. It combines the story of Pung's life growing up in suburban Footscray with the inherited stories of the women in her family - stories of madness, survival and heartbreak. Original and brave, this is a girl's own story that introduces an unforgettable voice and captures the experience of Asian immigrants to Australia.
Shortlisted for Victorian Premier's Literary Award 2007 and Victorian Premier's Literary Award - Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-Fiction 2007.
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