Unpolished Gem


Alice Pung

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Unpolished Gem can help.

The Mao Suit

In Unpolished Gem, the Mao suit, a traditional pants suit worn in Southeast Asia, symbolizes Alice’s connection to her traditional Chinese culture. When Alice’s grandmother, Huyen Thai, first arrives in Australia, she…

read analysis of The Mao Suit


Gold symbolizes security, wealth, and success within Unpolished Gem. In Phnom Penh under the Khmer Rouge regime, Pol Pot closes the banks and turns their money into “worthless pieces of dirty paper,” and only…

read analysis of Gold