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.
- 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.