Q&A with Alice Pung, author of Laurinda, shortlisted for the 2015 ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year
What’s your favourite thing about being a published author?
The world inhabited by writers is such a democratic country: ideas have no border protection, so the only passport you need is an open-minded acceptance and curiosity. I have loved meeting other authors and readers from all over the world, and all different backgrounds.
What are some of the things you love about Australian bookstores?
The owners and staff, who are so enthusiastic, supportive and lovely. It’s like no other retail profession: the vendors have often sampled copies of their goods before selling them to you, and this is a good thing!
What’s the most recent Australian book that you read and loved?
Annabel Crabb’s The Wife Drought (non-fiction) and Antonia Haye’s Relativity (fiction).
If you could meet any Australian author, dead or alive, who would you like to meet?
For years I’d dreamed of meeting John Marsden and Melina Marchetta and I met them last year (they launched Laurinda in Melbourne and Sydney) so I can die happy. But in the afterlife I would love to befriend Ruth Park.
What Australian book had the biggest impact on you as a child?
Paul Jennings’ Unreal: Eight Surprising Stories.
After readers have finished reading your book, which Australian book would you recommend they read next?
Maxine Beneba Clark’s Foreign Soil. Her writing is legendary.