- Published: 06/06/2013
- ISBN: 9781846275463
- Granta Books
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.
Alice Pung is a gem. Her voice is the real thing
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