Unpolished Gem by Alice Pung | Black Inc.

Unpolished Gem

Awards for Unpolished Gem

  • Winner- Australian Newcomer of the Year in the 2007 Australian Book Industry Awards
  • Shortlisted - Australian Biography of the Year and Australian Book of the Year in the 2007 Australian Book Industry Awards
  • Shortlisted - 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Awards
  • Shortlisted - 2007 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards
  • Shortlisted - 2007 Age Book of the Year Awards
  • Shortlisted - 2006 Colin Roderick Award
  • Shortlisted - 2007 The Westfield/Waverley Library Award for Literature
  • Selected in the 2007 Books Alive Great Read Guide
  • Voted one of Victoria’s top 5 summer reads in the State Library of Victoria's Summer Read program.

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About the author

Alice Pung

Alice Pung OAM is an award-winning writer based in Melbourne. She is the bestselling author of the memoirs Unpolished Gem and Her Father’s Daughter, and the essay collection Close to Home, as …

More about Alice Pung

Praise for Unpolished Gem

Unpolished Gem is a delightful read – a funny, touching debut from a writer we’re sure to hear more from.’ —Courier Mail

‘... offer(s) a rare bicultural vantage point on Australian multiculturalism’ —Sydney Morning Herald

‘There’s something striking on every page of Unpolished Gem.’ —Helen Garner

‘A memoir so vivid that images from it linger behind your eyelids.’ —Age

‘Alice Pung is a gem. Her voice is the real thing.’ —Amy Tan

Unpolished Gem is virtuoso storytelling.’ —Australian

‘... intelligent and touching’ —Herald Sun

Teachers' Resources


The Asian-Australian migrant experience; Family; Love and Marriage; Gender roles

Reading age

Grades 9-12


Unpolished Gem follows one family's pursuit of the Australian Dream – Asian style. For background information about the Cambodian migrant experience and other articles and resources, visit Alice Pung's website.


  Teaching notes

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More from Alice Pung

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