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On Better Words this week: Alice Pung
Speaking to one of Australia's foremost authors, whose work spans every age range.
This week we’re honoured to share with you an interview with Alice Pung, a writer who has published across every age range in both fiction and non-fiction.
Her debut novel Laurinda won the Ethel Turner Prize at the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and has been adapted for the stage. Her second novel, One Hundred Days, was shortlisted for the 2022 Miles Franklin Award. She is also the author of children's books including Be Careful, Xiao Xin! (ill. Sher Rill Ng). Alice was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to literature in 2022.
Today, we're discussing her new children's series Millie Mak the Maker. We also talk about her other fiction works and how she has been so fluid in who she writes for.
🎧 Listen to the episode on Spotify below or search ‘Better Words’ in your preferred podcast player 🎧
Things we talked about
How the working-class suburbs of Australia where Alice grew up inspired the story of Millie Mak
Inspiring young girls to make and craft
The class and privilege of children's toys and upcycling
The magic of finding an illustrator to collaborate with who also understands the nuances of growing up in a country with a history of colonialism
How Alice has managed to write across so many age ranges
Why One Hundred Days became Alice's debut adult novel
The experience of seeing Laurinda adapted for the stage
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Before we chat with our featured author, we always share some other recommendations. This week was a book club – where we read a book together and talk about it without spoilers. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it too!
Laurinda by Alice Pung
A must-read of the Aussie young adult canon and a book we've meant to read for years. We're so glad we finally read this beautiful, heartfelt exploration of Lucy Lam's experience at a prestigious Melbourne girls' school.
- Caitlin & Michelle
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