Alice Pung

It’s difficult to describe what it’s like to be raised in a Chinese family, especially when you are surrounded by markers of Western society. There is no such thing as talking back to your parents or refusing to do what they say. As a child, I never went to sleepovers. During my teenage and young adult years, I felt increasingly trapped in my own home. Everything I did was scrutinised; my parents never seemed to take into account my wants or needs. I found myself grasping for any scrap of independence, usually through lying or stealing or a combination of the two. As children, we are continually told that adults do things to protect us, especially when they are things we don’t particularly like. But when does protection morph into something uglier? When does it smother us, as if our agency has been stripped from us?

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A generation living in peacetime is inclined to devalue the identity and place of soldiers. In Australia, active soldiers have been maligned as meddlesome interlopers in ...

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Lucy Lam is a studious pupil at a multicultural Melbourne Catholic school. Her mother minds the baby at home and sews high-end chain store clothing in the garage, while her father toils at a hazardous carpet factory. With dreams of following a different path, Lucy sits an exam for Laurinda, an exclusive ladies’ college, and is awarded the inaugural Equal Access sc ...

It is a mark perhaps of her publisher’s confidence and her own bestselling status that the cover of Alice Pung’s second book has her name in large print, dwarfing even the title itself. Her Father’s Daughter is the sequel to Pung’s Unpolished Gem (2006), and the memoir picks up a couple of years later with the author having dusted away adolescence and now being in the midst of the equally bewildering twenty-something years.

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