Showing all posts tagged: Alice Pung

Alice Pung named chair of judges for the 2023 Stella Prize

9 September 2022

Melbourne based author and lawyer Alice Pung was named chair of judges for the 2023 Stella Prize last month. The prize, which recognises the work of women and non-binary writers, is one of Australia’s most prestigious literary awards.

I recently read Pung’s 2021 novel One Hundred Days, which was shortlisted in both the 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award, and the 2022 Australian Book Industry Awards. The story centres on sixteen year Kuruna, and her fraught — to put it mildly — relationship with her overbearing mother, which becomes all the more strained after Kuruna falls pregnant. Not an easy read, if I’m honest.

On the subject of the 2023 Stella Prize, entries are presently being accepted until Wednesday 12 October 2022.

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State of the (Writing) Nation 2021

17 November 2021

Australian writer Alice Pung presented this year’s State of the (Writing) Nation oration, an initiative of Writers Victoria and the Wheeler Centre. Melbourne based writer Christos Tsiolkas, speaking before the oration, introduced Shu-Ling Chau, an emerging author also based in Melbourne. Pung’s address focussed on the production, promotion, and reception process of the writing process.

William Hazlitt wrote that ‘the smallest pain in our little finger causes us more concern than the destruction of our fellow human beings’. In her address, Pung will consider what kind of writing matters in the face of our small hurts and large griefs, and take an unflinching look at the excessive weight we place on literature to ameliorate our feelings. If you’re only half-grudgingly woke, is it better to just stay asleep? Pung will explore the pitfalls of this self-motivated obsession with using literature to educate, and examine whose expense it comes at.

Pung spoke about the experiences of disadvantaged writers in Australia, be they immigrants, refugees, disabled, indigenous, queer, or poor. This is essential listening for anyone with an interest in Australian literature.

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