Unpolished Gem: My Mother, My Grandmother, and Me

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Penguin, Jan 27, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 304 pages
“Poignant, provocative, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, Pung’s rollicking tale of two worlds is not to be missed.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

After Alice Pung’s family fled to Australia from the killing fields of Cambodia, her father chose Alice as her name because he thought their new country was a Wonderland. In this lyrical, bittersweet debut memoir—already an award-winning bestseller when it was published in Australia—Alice grows up straddling two worlds, East and West, her insular family and the Australia outside. With wisdom beyond her years and a keen eye for comedy in everyday life, she writes of the trials of assimilation and cultural misunderstanding, and of the tender but fraught relationships between three generations of women trying to live the Australian dream without losing themselves.

Unpolished Gem is a moving, vivid journey about identity and the ultimate search for acceptance and healing, delivered by a writer possessed of rare empathy, penetrating insight, and undeniable narrative gifts.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Kirstie_Innes-Will - LibraryThing

Alice Pung has a vivid, direct, immediate prose style with great rhythm, and she compellingly brings to life her Chinese Cambodian family in their transition to life in Australia. She writes crisply ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tandah - LibraryThing

A really nicely told and fresh story about the challenges faced by one family of former Cambodian/Chinees refugees who build their new life in Australia. Alice covers unique cultural mores around ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

ALICE PUNG was born in Australia in 1981, one month after her parents migrated from Cambodia. She is now a Melbourne-based writer and lawyer.

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