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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 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

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781863951586

    August 28, 2006

    Black Inc (Adult)

    288 pages

    RRP $26.95

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Alice Pung

On John Marsden: Writers on Writers
My First Lesson
Our Australian Girl: Marly walks on the Moon (Book 4)
Our Australian Girl: Marly and the Goat (Book 3)
Our Australian Girl: Marly's Business (Book 2)
Our Australian Girl: Meet Marly (Book 1)
Laurinda
Her Father's Daughter
Growing Up Asian in Australia