“You were either fit and trim or you weren't working hard enough. Your body was how you conveyed wealth and status to your peers, it was a personality trait, a symbol of goodness and values: an ethical ideal.”
In recent decades women have made momentous progress fighting the patriarchy, yet they are held to ever-stricter, more punishing physical standards. Self-worth still plummets and eating disorders are more deadly for how easily they are dismissed.
In Beauty Bri Lee explores our obsession with thinness and asks how an intrinsically unattainable standard of physical 'perfection' has become so crucial to so many. What happens if you try to reach that impossible goal? Bri did try, and Beauty is what she learned from that battle: a gripping and intelligent rejection of an ideal that diminishes us all.
An award-winning and best-selling memoir exposing injustice in the Australian legal system.
EGGSHELL SKULL: 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.
Praise for Eggshell Skull:
'Bri Lee’s story of standing up for herself and braving a biased, underfunded, incompetent legal system to demand justice is beautifully written, tender and powerful. Accompanying Lee through her transformation from a frightened girl into a blazingly formidable adult - whose courage comes from her determination to stand up for all women – was moving, gut-churning, and ultimately triumphant.'
- Charlotte Wood, author of The Natural Way of Things
'Eggshell Skull is not an easy read. But it's an important reflection of the reality we live in. If you struggle to understand what rape culture is, this book will give you a clarity that might shock you.'
- Clementine Ford
'Lee’s story has the addictive quality of any car crash in slow motion. She has a talent for making the often dreary practice of law seem electric with weirdness and submerged drama, and a particular flair for the one-liner. We should feel gratitude and optimism that women of talent and intelligence are writing brave, self-aware, excoriating books such as these.'
- The Australian (Geordie Williamson)
'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 and co-founder of Kill Your Darlings
'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