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Summary

"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.

©2006 Alice Pung (P)2012 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"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)

What listeners say about Unpolished Gem

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  • accisse
  • 17-07-14

I preferred the hardcopy book to the audio

Where does Unpolished Gem rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It was my first ever audiobook and it was average. Not really impressive enough so that I would like to listen to more audiobooks, but not bad enough for me to give it a low rating either.

Any additional comments?

The slightly awkward, cautious way the narrator read the parts and names that were foreign to her detracted from this book. Otherwise, I think she made a good effort to bring out the drama of the conversations using different talking voices for different characters.