Alice Pung


22 ENTRIES Alice Pung is a writer, lawyer and teacher. She is the author of Unpolished Gem, Her Father’s Daughter, Laurinda and Writers on Writers: Alice Pung on John Marsden.



Close to Home: Selected Writings

Welcome to The Summer Library: selected extracts from the best new books this summer



Home truths

Ah Gong and Ah Mah move into a culturally diverse aged-care facility


Two cultures and a baby

On pregnancy and birth, tradition and family


Delible ink

Even tattoos don’t last forever any more


Who is the ordinary reasonable person?

The trouble with repealing section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act


Methadone and pho

A day in a drug treatment centre

Students sitting a selective school entrance exam. © Peter Rae / Fairfax Syndication


The secret life of them

What it takes to shift class in Australia

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Flag of Convenience

Australia Day in Pyalong

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.


Hair apparent

Mr Abe Lourie is 81, and tells me that he is in perfect health. Every morning he walks up two flights of stairs to open his store. The lift has been broken for quite some time and yet customers continue to come up, because for half a century he has helped …


Border crossings

John Safran’s ‘Race Relations’


Chinese whispers

Zachary Mexico’s ‘China Underground’

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.


School days

‘Ladies' is such a salacious word when slurred by young men, but when enunciated by a carefully coiffured middle-aged lady to a mass of Year 10 girls it is a severe admonition not to move. I wondered how long it would take to set the limbs of adolescent …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.


Looking sheepish

“Sheep’s placenta for the face is all the rage among Chinese women,” my father said. All his mainland-Chinese friends told him that this was the perfect gift for me to give when I went to Beijing: lanolin oil containing adventurous admixtures of …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.


Ally of the dolls

She was found beneath the floorboards of an old house in Geelong, and appeared to have been through a fire. Her body had disintegrated, but her head was still intact. She was from England, and probably came into existence sometime between 1908 and 1925 …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.



Bianca promised to drive me to the 24-hour Kmart in East Burwood, Melbourne, because I wanted to see what people need to buy at three in the morning. Bianca goes for long drives alone, late at night, when she cannot get to sleep. On these drives, she …