Alice is an Ambassador for the Twentieth Man Foundation, the 100 Story Building and Room to Read, all organisations that encourage literacy and literature among young people.
In 2022 Alice was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her services to Australian literature.
One Hundred Days
2021, Black Inc.
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
Alice's writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Monthly Magazine, Good Weekend, The Age, The Saturday Paper, The Australian, Griffith Review, Meanjin, and The Lifted Brow.
She has also had work published in the Best Australian Stories and the Best Australian Essays, and book anthologies.
Her collected writing can be read in Close to Home.
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’s books are studied in secondary schools and universities in Australia as well as around the world. She has lectured at universities and schools all around Australia and overseas, and taught writing workshops to students from the ages of 8 to 80.