Welcome to the official website of Alice Pung OAM.
This site was especially created for students and teachers and anyone generally interested in Alice's work. It contains interviews, articles, essays, teacher's notes, and useful resources.
Alice is an award-winning author, the writer-in-residence at Janet Clarke Hall, the University of Melbourne, and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University.
She is the bestselling author of the memoirs Unpolished Gem and Her Father’s Daughter, the novels Laurinda and One Hundred Days, the essay collection Close to Home, as well as the editor of the anthologies Growing Up Asian in Australia and My First Lesson. Her books have been published internationally, including in the US, UK, Italy, Germany and Indonesia.
Author Photo: Yoshitomo Sonoda
Her Father's Daughter won the Western Australia Premiers' Award. Laurinda won the Ethel Turner Prize at the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Her second novel One Hundred Days, was shortlisted for the 2022 Miles Franklin Award, and has been optioned by Michelle Law for development as a film. She is also the author of children’s books including Be Careful, Xiao Xin!, When Grandma Came to Stay and the Meet Marly books.
Alice has taught and mentored students in Australia and around the world, and given guest lectures at Brown University, Vassar College, the University of Milan and Peking University.
She delivered the 2022 State of the Writing Nation Address, and in the same year was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her services to literature.
A qualified lawyer, Alice still works three days a week in the area of minimum wages and pay equity.
One Hundred Days
2021, Black Inc.
Shortlisted, 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award
One hundred days. It’s no time at all, she tells me. But she’s not the one waiting.
In a heady whirlwind of independence, lust and defiance, sixteen-year-old Karuna falls pregnant. Not on purpose, but not entirely by accident, either. Incensed, Karuna’s mother, already over-protective, confines her to their fourteenth-storey housing-commission flat, to keep her safe from the outside world – and make sure she can’t get into any more trouble.
Stuck inside for endless hours, Karuna battles her mother and herself for a sense of power in her own life, as a new life forms and grows within her. As the due date draws ever closer, the question of who will get to raise the baby – who it will call Mum – festers between them.
One Hundred Days is a fractured fairytale exploring the faultlines between love and control. At times tense and claustrophobic, it is nevertheless brimming with humour, warmth and character. It is a magnificent new work from one of Australia’s most celebrated writers.
Book Club notes
Download book club notes for One Hundred Days from the Black Inc website.
Download teaching notes for One Hundred Days here.
Praise for One Hundred Days
‘One Hundred Days is the tale of mothers and daughters the world over – the relationships we navigate, the weight of our histories, and how, no matter the fractures life throws between us, our daughters will always hum us home. Pung’s characters are so real, I could feel them in the room. There is no word out of place, no sentence that doesn’t sing with poetry. This is truly fiction at its fiercest. It is a masterpiece, a triumph – Pung’s greatest work yet.’ —Maxine Beneba Clarke
‘What is astounding about One Hundred Days is that while it is fearlessly honest about the damage family members can inflict on one another, it is also full of forgiveness and harmony and grace. Pung’s discernment and command as a writer is astonishing, elating. I adore this book.’ —Christos Tsiolkas
‘A deceptively simple plot under which bubbles the latent power of raw emotional need and complicated love. Pung’s writing is liltingly lovely; every word careful and considered.’ —Jackie Tang, Readings Monthly
‘A legit masterpiece. Funny in all the right places, sob-inducing at the end.’ —Benjamin Law
‘I devoured this book – a beautiful, funny, rude, deeply moving story.’ —Virginia Trioli
‘One Hundred Days tells a story about growing up, discovering the difference between love and control, and taking responsibility. I loved the details: they spoke of a whole world. How I admired this young, determined protagonist. The book is wonderful; I read it all in one sitting.’ —Sofie Laguna
‘One Hundred Days can be an uncomfortable read ... but Pung’s writing is also infused with humour, warmth, and an understanding of what it is to be both mother and daughter.’ —Australian Book Review
‘Pung captures the confusion and fury of adolescence; while at the same time, offering a bigger perspective that leaves the reader with no easy answers, only the uneasy complication of being human.’ —SBS Voices
‘Stunning ... One Hundred Days is Pung’s best work so far, but know that it will break your heart … It’s here to challenge our perceptions of love, family and culture. It’s here to pull on our heartstrings and have us turn each page faster and faster, desperate to know the ending.’ —ArtsHub
‘A glorious song of a novel … Pung changes our perceptions and sympathies, building characters with depth and complexity ... At its core, this is an uplifting story of a woman defining her own life, knowing that she will give her child the freedom to do the same.’ —The Saturday Paper
‘One Hundred Days is a heartachingly personal story about love, motherhood and the different forms they both take … a must-read for fans of The Mothers by Brit Bennett.’ —Books and Publishing