Books and Ideas at Montalto
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Bri Lee’s Eggshell Skull is about our justice system; its deep-rooted tenets and its disastrous shortcomings.
The book is Lee’s first-person account of her year as a judge’s associate in the District Court of Queensland, during which she watched endless cases of sexual assault and child abuse. Herself a survivor of childhood sexual assault, Lee was ultimately moved to bring her own case to court as a complainant. Her own journey through the justice system called for tremendous reserves of resilience and courage.
Praised by Helen Garner and Clementine Ford, Eggshell Skull is a meditation on power, abuse and institutional bias. It’s a clear-eyed examination of the toll our justice system takes on women and all survivors of abuse.
At Montalto, she joins Elizabeth McCarthy for a talk about power, justice and survival.
Note: This event includes discussion of sexual assault.
Books and Ideas at Montalto series sound design and music: Jon Tjhia.
Bri Lee is an author and freelance writer. Her journalism has appeared in publications such as The Monthly, The Saturday Paper, Guardian Australia and Crikey. Her first book, Eggshell Skull, won Biography of the Year at the ABIA Awards, the People's Choice Award at the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, and was longlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize. She is also a non-practicing lawyer and continues to engage in legal research and issues-based advocacy.
Elizabeth McCarthy has worked as a producer and presenter in radio for 20 years. She produces the breakfast show at Australia’s biggest independent broadcaster, 3RRR, and reviews books on 3RRR and ABC Radio Melbourne. In 2019 she was the convenor of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction, and from 2013–2017 she anchored Triple R’s flagship books and writing show, Multi-Storied.
She regularly interviews writers at live events and public conversations for the Wheeler Centre, Sydney Writers’ Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival, and more. She has previously worked as a music reviewer, and from 2002 – 2006 she was the drummer and co-lyricist for Melbourne swamp-rock grrrl band, The Muddy Spurs.