Eggshell Skull

By Bri Lee
Allen & Unwin


Bri Lee

Judges' report


This is a compelling and brilliantly observed first-hand account of the vagaries of our legal system, particularly for women in sexual assault cases.

For a year, law graduate Bri Lee was the associate of an unnamed District Court judge in Brisbane. She accompanies the judge through regional Queensland watching and listening as justice appears to be an unattainable outcome for endless young victims of sexual assault. From her elevated position in the court room, Lee provides a moving and vivid account of the struggles of these women trying to obtain justice when the odds are stacked against them.

Lee silently rages and fumes while appearing to outsiders as a dispassionate participant in the judicial system. In the darkness of her own life, full of self-loathing from her own experience as a victim, Lee embarks upon her own pursuit of justice against her perpetrator.

The individual court-room dramas are beautifully observed and, as a reader, you find yourself, heart in mouth, waiting to hear the verdicts.

This is a powerful and moving debut which employs a compelling symmetry as Lee moves from an observer to a participant in her own quest for justice.

Further reading


Reviews

‘This book sears with white-hot feminist rage: at the reverberation of the abuse in her daily life; at the injustices of the legal system, the obtuseness of its bureaucracies, the institutional violence it perpetrates against victims.’ Alison Huber, Readings

‘Blow-by-blow details of the confronting cases coupled with the writer’s trauma make for a relentless read, but the book is at its strongest when its charting the minutiae of how women are gaslit by men and the system alike.’ Sonia Nair, Books+Publishing

‘Written with raw energy and cool intelligence, Eggshell Skull reminds us of the prevalence of abuse and injustice in our communities and demonstrates the immense courage and determination necessary to combat it.’ Ashley Kalagian, Newtown Review of Books

‘Lee is clear-eyed and sometimes scathing about a system where “a wreck of a car is evidence, but the wrecked body of a woman isn’t”. At the same time, her respect for legal processes turns this into a complicated memoir of the law as it is lived.’ The Saturday Paper

‘This book is for all of those too afraid to speak out, fearful that they will not be believed.’ Astrid Edwards, The Garrett

Links

Read ‘Burden of Proof: Bri Lee’s Egshell Skull’ in Kill Your Darlings

Read ‘Reporting my sexual assault was horrific but healing. Here’s what I learned’ by Bri Lee in Guardian Australia

Read ‘Sharing our stories is the strength at the heart of #MeToo’ by Bri Lee in Guardian Australia