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This story does not begin on a boat. Nor does it contain any wild swans or falling leaves.
In a wonderland called Footscray, a girl named Alice and her Chinese-Cambodian family pursue the Australian Dream – Asian style. Armed with an ocker accent, Alice dives head-first into schooling, romance and the getting of wisdom. Her mother becomes an Aussie battler – an outworker, that is. Her father embraces the miracle of franchising and opens an electrical-appliance store. And every day her grandmother blesses Father Government for giving old people money.
Unpolished Gem is a book rich in comedy, a loving and irreverent portrait of a family, its everyday struggles and bittersweet triumphs. With it, Australian writing gains an unforgettable new voice.
‘This is a sophisticated and fiercely intelligent book.’ Helen Garner
‘A memoir so vivid that images from it linger behind your eyelids.’ The Age
’Unpolished Gem is virtuoso storytelling.’ The Australian
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