On this page you will find teaching notes for all of Alice's books, in publication order, as well as interviews, curriculum questions and additional resources. Scroll to the bottom for resources on Laurinda.
Pung is the author of two acclaimed memoirs, Unpolished Gem and Her Father’s Daughter, and edited the collection Growing Up Asian in Australia. Laurinda is her debut work of fiction, and is set in an exclusive private girls’ school of the same name. The book follows new scholarship student Lucy Lam as she uncovers Laurinda’s true powerhouse: a group of students called The Cabinet who rule the institution with an iron fist. The novel is hard-edged satire cloaked in contemporary YA: exploring class dynamics, everyday racism and bullying. It’s Heathers meets House of Cards by way of Mean Girls.
With Laurinda, Alice Pung has joined other Australian writers like Vikki Wakefield, Cath Crowley, and Gabrielle Williams who are writing smart, funny YA fiction full of complex and engaging characters.
Video: Australian Curriculum questions for Laurinda by Alice Pung
Video: Alice Pung on the trials of high school and her new novel Laurinda
Video: Read More with Alice Pung at Moreland City Libraries
“The stories in this anthology are special because they capture the school experience with rare authenticity. These are not adults writing about teenagers, but real young adult writers.” —Alice Pung
Award-winning author Alice Pung has selected 25 diverse stories written by high school students inspired by her bestselling YA novel, Laurinda. The collection features an impressive range of genres by exciting new voices, exploring themes as varied as intergenerational friendship, cultural identity, bullying and heartbreak. From epiphanies on an African safari to trying to cope with the death of a parent, from a prank gone wrong to finding love in unexpected places, the stories in My First Lesson are vivid and imaginative, funny and surprising, poetic and moving.
This is an anthology of writing about what it is really like to grow up Asian-Australian. Including contributions from established writers, public figures and exciting new talents, this diverse and unpredictable collection throws out the cliches and takes readers behind the stereotypes.
At twenty-something, Alice is hungry for the milestones of young womanhood: leaving home, choosing a career, finding friendship and love on her own terms. But with each step she takes away from home, she feels the sharp tug of invisible threads: the love and worry of her Chinese-Cambodian 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.