Unpolished Gem

My Mother, My Grandmother And Me

Alice Pung

Published: 4 May 2009
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 288 pages
ISBN: 9781846271441


With a home-grown accent and an imported heritage, Alice Pung grew up straddling two worlds. By the time she was born, her family had already made the perilous journey from revolutionary China and the killing fields of Cambodia to their new home in a prosperous Australian suburb. But even as Alice dives head-first into life in the only country she's ever known, she also understands her father's wonder at the magical workings of escalators, her grandmother's fervent blessings for the generosity of Father Government, and her mother's determination to toil every hour of the day and night. Warm-spirited and wonderfully wise, Unpolished Gem is a vibrant, irreverent portrait of the foreigner's fumbles, the everyday successes and the bittersweet bonds that hold one small family together in a big new country.

About the author

Image of Alice Pung

Alice Pung is a writer and lawyer. She lives in Melbourne and this is her first book. It was shortlisted for two of Australia's most popular prizes - the Booksellers' Choice Award and the New South Wales Premier's Literary Award. http://alicepung.com/blog/ More about the author


‘Alice Pung is a gem. Her voice is the real thing’ Amy Tan



‘Pung's memoir ... is the spiritual descendant not so much of Jung Chang's Wild Swans as of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. Pung displays the latter's gift for deliciously wry humour and passionate, pungent prose - like Plath, she manoeuvres mesmerically between the hilarious and the heartbreaking. Her memoir is funny, engrossing and astonishingly wise’

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