Author(s): Alice Pung

YA (Young Adult)

'Alice Pung is a gem. Her voice is the real thing, ' Amy Tan

Laurinda is an exclusive school for girls. At its secret core is the Cabinet, a trio of girls who wield power over their classmates - and some of their teachers.

Entering this world of wealth and secrets is Lucy Lam, a scholarship girl with sharp eyes and a shaky sense of self. As she watches the Cabinet at work, and is courted by them, can Lucy stay true to herself as she finds her way in this new world of privilege and opportunity?

Alice Pung has created a stunning and important novel which covers important topics such as race, class and abuse of power in an exclusive secondary school in Melbourne, Australia. Faced with the pressures of fitting in Lucy must reconcile ideas about culture, self and attitude to carve out her identity in this hostile environment. The perfect book for young adults.


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Shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards General Fiction Award 2015

Shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards 2015

Longlisted for the Stella Prize 2015

Longlisted for the Inky Awards 2015

Readings Top 100 Bestseller

"Alice Pung totally nails it with Laurinda. Funny, horrifying, and sharp as a serpent’s fangs." - John Marsden


“Based loosely on Pung’s own experiences, the book has an unmissable ring of truth to it, making it all the more compelling and horrifying.” - the Sydney Morning Herald


“Schoolgirl Lucy Lam was one of this year’s best characters – smart, hardworking and brave. Pung tackles big issues with a light touch.” - Herald Sun


“Pung continues to impress with her nuanced storytelling; Laurinda will surely resonate with anyone who remembers the cliquey, hierarchical nature of the playground.” - Sunday Age


“In her debut novel [Pung] successfully dramatizes the high stakes when an impoverished Chinese girl is parachuted into the private system… Pung’s forceful writing reveals the diverse and often difficult lives of her immigrant compatriots too often hidden away from us by masks of discretion.” - the Age


“Biting yet compassionate” - Books of the Year, Australian Book Review


“Exquisitely sharp” - Books of the Year, the Age


“A candid and powerful exploration of family, culture and class … it is those of us who take our fortune and privilege for granted that I wish would read this powerful book.” - Readings Monthly

Alice Pung is a writer, editor, teacher and lawyer based in Melbourne. Born a month after her Chinese parents fled from Cambodia to Australia as asylum seekers from Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge Regime, Alice has used her shared family's experiences to write stories that captivate all readers.

She has won numerous awards including the 2007 Newcomer of the Year Award in the Australia Book Industry Awards for her first book Unpolished Gem (Black Inc).

Her next book, Her Father's Daughter (Black Inc), won the Western Australia Premier's Book Award for Non Fiction, and it was also shortlisted for the Premier's Literary Awards in Victoria and New South Wales, and nominated also in the Queensland Literary Awards. 

Laurinda, Alice's first novel, was published by Black Inc in 2014 and was one of Readings' Top 100 bestselling books for the year.

In 2015 Alice will publish four books around the character Marly in Penguin's Our Australian Girl series.

General Fields

  • : 9781863956925
  • : Schwartz Publishing Pty, Limited
  • : Black Inc.
  • : 0.426
  • : September 2014
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : Australia
  • : November 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : black & white illustrations
  • : 352
  • : Paperback
  • : Alice Pung