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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

Recommendations

The Other Christy
Mr Romanov's Garden in the Sky
The Beast of Hushing Wood
Thirteen Reasons Why
Wonder
The Extraordinary Life of Pikelet
Leila's Secret
The Sun is also a Star
Boy Overboard
The Fault In Our Stars
Father Bob: The Larrikin Priest
Two Wolves
One Photo
The Diary Of A Young Girl
A Fortunate Life
Rosetta
The Undoing Project
At The Existentialist Café
Now
Ned Kelly