Growing Up Asian in Australia

Alice Pung

Growing Up Asian in Australia
Black Inc.
2 June 2008

Growing Up Asian in Australia

Alice Pung

Asian-Australians have often been written about by outsiders, as outsiders. In this collection, compiled by award-winning author Alice Pung, they tell their own stories with verve, courage and a large dose of humour.
They tell tales of leaving home, falling in love, coming out and finding one’s feet. A young Cindy Pan vows to win every single category of Nobel Prize. Tony Ayres blows a kiss to a skinhead and lives to tell the tale. Benjamin Law has a close encounter with some angry Australian fauna, and Kylie Kwong makes a moving pilgrimage to her great-grandfather’s Chinese village.
Here are well-known authors and exciting new voices, spanning several generations and drawn from all over Australia. In sharing their stories, they show us what it is really like to grow up Asian, and Australian.
Contributors include- Shaun Tan, Jenny Kee, Annette Shun Wah, Anh Do, Khoa Do, John So, Simone Lazaroo, Christopher Cyril, Jason Yat-Sen Li, Sunil Badami, Hoa Pham, Quan Yeomans, Caroline Tran, Tom Cho, Vanessa Woods and many more …


What a fascinating collection of stories! Growing up Asian in Australia is an anthology of reminiscences from prominent and not so prominent Asian-Australians who all have one thing in common - lives that have been affected, in one way or another, by the straddling of East and West.

Edited by award-winning writer Alice Pung, these are tales of being called racist names in the schoolyard, unpacking school lunches that smelled different from the other kids’, negotiating romantic relationships with people from other cultures and much, much more. Sunil Badami recalls being taunted about his name and wanting to be just Neil, Kylie Kwong writes about the first time she visited her ancestral home in China and Cindy Pan remembers her aspirations to win every single category of the Nobel Prize. Honest, unflinching and often extremely funny, these stories give voice to the many Asian-Australians that grew up here but often felt like they didn’t belong. My only criticism of this anthology would be that Alice Pung hasn’t put one of her own stories in!

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