Author(s): Bri Lee
Damien Cave: (New York Times bureau chief in Sydney & friend of Bookoccino)
"This debut from a former Queensland judge's associate breaks the silence around sexual assault and all the ways Australia's court system tries to silence victims. If you're wondering why Australia's #metoo movement hasn't gained more momentum, this memoir will add some clarity."
A well-established legal doctrine that a defendant must 'take their victim as they find them'. If a single punch kills someone because of their thin skull, that victim's weakness cannot mitigate the seriousness of the crime. But what if it also works the other way? What if a defendant on trial for sexual crimes has to accept his 'victim' as she comes: a strong, determined accuser who knows the legal system, who will not back down until justice is done? Bri Lee began her first day of work at the Queensland District Court as a bright-eyed judge's associate. Two years later she was back as the complainant in her own case. This is the story of Bri's journey through the Australian legal system; first as the daughter of a policeman, then as a law student, and finally as a judge's associate in both metropolitan and regional Queensland-where justice can look very different, especially for women. The injustice Bri witnessed, mourned and raged over every day finally forced her to confront her own personal history, one she'd vowed never to tell. And this is how, after years of struggle, she found herself on the other side of the courtroom, telling her story. Bri Lee has written a fierce and eloquent memoir that addresses both her own reckoning with the past as well as with the stories around her, to speak the truth with wit, empathy and unflinching courage. Eggshell Skull is a haunting appraisal of modern Australia from a new and essential voice.
Winner - Ned Kelly Crime Awards 2019 - True Crime
Winner ABIA Biography of the Year - 2019
2019 ABIA Shortlist, Shortlisted Non-Fiction Prize, Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2019 AU; Winner People's Choice Award, Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2019 AU; Shortlisted Best Non-Fiction, Indie Book Awards 2019 AU; Winner People's Choice Prize - Nib Literary Award 2018 AU; Shortlisted Nib Literary Award 2018 AU
Scorching, self-scouring: a young woman finds her steel and learns to wield it' - Helen Garner'
'Brutal, brave and utterly compelling...I can't remember a book I devoured with such intensity, nor one that moved me so profoundly' --Rebecca Starford, author of Bad Behaviour
'Courageous, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful' --Liam Pieper, author of The Toymaker
'Sensitive and clear-eyed' --Jessica Friedmann, author of Things That Helped
'A page-turner of a memoir, impossible to put down' --Krissy Kneen, author of An Uncertain Grace
Bri Lee is a Brisbane-based writer currently specialising in memoir, narrative non-fiction, and journalism. She is also the Founding Editor of the feminist magazine Hot Chicks with Big Brains and runs regular events associated with the magazine in Brisbane. After graduating from law at the University of Queensland she worked as a Judge's Associate in the Queensland District Court. In 2016 Bri left the legal industry to write full-time after receiving the inaugural Kat Muscat Fellowship. She currently freelances, manages Hot Chicks with Big Brains. Eggshell Skull is her first book.