"This story does not begin on a boat." So commences Alice Pung’s memoir. 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.
"There’s something striking on every page of Unpolished Gem." (Helen Garner)
"Pung has a seductive way with language, an eye for telling detail, and a gift for comic dialogue." (Australian Book Review)
"... an intelligent and touching insight into the culture-hopping that so many first-generation Australians undertake." (The Herald Sun)
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