Her Father’s Daughter

At twenty-something, Alice is eager for the milestones of adulthood: leaving home, choosing a career, finding friendship and love on her own terms. But with each step she takes she feels the sharp tug of invisible threads: the love and worry of her parents, who want more than anything to keep her from harm. Her father fears for her safety to an extraordinary degree – but why?

As she digs further into her father’s story, Alice embarks on a journey of painful discovery: of memories lost and found, of her own fears for the future, of history and how it echoes down the years. Set in Melbourne, China and Cambodia, Her Father’s Daughter captures a father–daughter relationship in a moving and astonishingly powerful way.

Read an extract from Her Father’s Daughter here.


“Pung makes everything she writes about shine.” – The Australian

“Pung has an extraordinary story to tell and the finesse to bring it, most movingly, to the page.” – The Monthly

“This is poignant, sophisticated prose, some of the finest you’ll read in the genre.” – The Age

“Written in lucid and affecting prose, Her Father’s Daughter is ultimately a filial love song that carries with it the notes of acceptance and understanding.” – The Australian Book Review

“A beautiful exploration of father-daughter relationships” – Vogue

Unpolished Gem

“There’s something striking on every page of Unpolished Gem.” – Helen Garner

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.

Read an extract from Unpolished Gem here


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

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

Unpolished Gem is virtuoso storytelling.’ —The Australian

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

‘Intelligent and touching’ —The Herald Sun

‘A delightful read.’ —The Courier Mail


  • 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 The Age Book of the Year Awards
  • Shortlisted – 2007 Booksellers and Publishers Award
  • Shortlisted – 2007 Westfield / Waverley Library Award for Literature
  • Shortlisted – 2006 The Colin Roderick Award

Growing Up Asian in Australia

Asian-Australians have often been written about by outsiders, as outsiders. In this collection, compiled by award-winning author Alice Pung, they tell their own stories with verve, courage and a large dose of humour.

Here are tales of leaving home, falling in love, coming out and finding one’s feet. A young Cindy Pan vows to win every single category of Nobel Prize. Tony Ayres blows a kiss to a skinhead and lives to tell the tale. Benjamin Law has a close encounter with some angry Australian fauna, and Kylie Kwong makes a moving pilgrimage to her great-grandfather’s Chinese village.

Here are well-known authors and exciting new voices, spanning several generations and drawn from all over Australia. In sharing their stories, they show us what it is really like to grow up Asian, and Australian.

Including: Shaun Tan, Jenny Kee, Annette Shun Wah, Anh Do, Khoa Do, John So, Simone Lazaroo, Christopher Cyrill, Jason Yat-Sen Li, Sunil Badami, Quan Yeomans, Caroline Tran, Tom Cho, Vanessa Woods and many more…

Read an extract from Growing up Asian in Australia here

Read the original introduction for Growing up Asian in Australia here

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