Alice Pung's Growing up Asian in Australia: The Cultural Work of Anthologized Asian-Australian Narratives of Childhood

Pamela Graham

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper examines the 2008 literary anthology Growing up Asian in Australia, edited by the young Australian writer and award-winning memoirist, Alice Pung. Featuring a collection of auto/biographically based prose, poetry, and comics by Asian-Australian authors, each short text within the anthology focuses on coming-of-age in modern-day Australia. Informed by auto/biography and Asian-Australian studies, this paper explores the cultural work that Pung's anthology aims to do. Through a reading of the anthology's paratexts as well as the short, individual childhood autobiographies, the discussion considers the strategies Pung employs in order to attract a broad readership, and how the anthology mobilizes life narratives of childhood to intervene in debates about Australian national, local, and personal identities at the start of the twenty-first century. I argue that Pung's text skillfully balances politics and populism, critiquing fundamental issues of national identity and self-representation while simultaneously appealing to a broad readership.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)67-83
    Number of pages17
    JournalProse Studies
    Volume35
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013

    Keywords

    • Alice Pung
    • anthology
    • Asian Australian
    • childhood memoirs
    • life writing
    • national identity

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Alice Pung's Growing up Asian in Australia: The Cultural Work of Anthologized Asian-Australian Narratives of Childhood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this