I'm really bad at keeping records of books which I've read and books we have discussed in my book group. So I was quite excited when I found this particular website where I can make a record of the books I've read and also keep thoughts and comments. This would be good for when I need to go back to try to remember how I originally felt about the book. Anyway, I'm starting to write my reviews, but after reading this one below, I realised that they are not really reviews but more about what I thought of the book.
Unpolished Gem by Alice Pung
When I first started reading this book, I thought that there was so much I could relate with growing up Asian and living in Australia. But then I found Alice really quite annoying towards the end of this book when she talks about her relationship with the Anglo Aussie guy she starts dating. I just want to tell her to get over it, being Asian doesn't mean that it needs to get in the way of living your life. It obviously wasn't an issue with that guy and he went out of his way to adjust to the "Asian-ness" of her family and he still liked her.
There is a lot of stereotyping in this book which started to bore me. For example the old Asian woman at the markets bargaining down to the last penny (we all know that Asian women do this so nothing new there) and the fact that she ends up being a lawyer. Okay, so she probably chose to be a lawyer (and this is an autobiography) but it just adds to that whole stereotyping of Asians only being interested in pursuing careers in law, medicine and accounting.
There were some highlights. For example, when she describes how the way her grandmother and mother talk to each other. How every comment contains "bones". That is a very Chinese saying (and a very bitchy Chinese way to be). Basically, it means that there are underlying messages in what is actually said (never good). Her mother and grandmother's relationship sounds like my mother's and my late-grandmother's.
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