Writer and editor Bri Lee’s book Eggshell Skull has been announced as a shortlisted title for this year’s Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literacy Award. The award commemorates excellence in research and writing in Australia.

Founded by the Waverly Council, books are judged on the quality of research, literary merit, readability and value to the community. Lee’s memoir looks through the lens of a daughter, law student and a judge’s associate in both metropolitan and regional Queensland, highlighting injustice for women in the Australian legal system. The book is a haunting appraisal of modern Australia and is told from Lee’s own firsthand experiences.

This is not the first time Bri has been recognised for her literary prowess. In 2016 Bri was the recipient of the inaugural Kat Muscat Fellowship, and in 2017 was one of Griffith Review’s Queensland writing fellows. In 2018 Bri received a Commonwealth Government of Australia scholarship and stipend to work on her second book at the University of Queensland. For this work she also received a Lord Mayor’s Emerging Artist Fellowship to spend four to six weeks in New York City in early 2019. She has received numerous other fellowships, residencies, and mentorships. The Eggshell Skull is one of six books to have emerged in the shortlist after beating numerous other quality entries. Of the additional shortlisted works, three are written by women, meaning women represent more than half of the books under consideration.

Sarah Krasnostein, author of The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster has also been shortlisted. She is a writer and a legal researcher with a doctorate in criminal law. Born in America, Sarah studied in Melbourne and has lived and worked in both countries. Her first book, The Trauma Cleaner, won the Victorian Prize for Literature and the Prize for Non-Fiction in the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards as well as the Australian Book Industry Award for General Non-Fiction. Sarah lives in Melbourne and spends part of the year working in New York City.

Also on the shortlist is Helen Lewis’s The Dead Will Cry Out, an extraordinary true story about the author’s father, Mike Lewis, a British paratrooper and combat cameraman who filmed the liberation of Bergen-Belsen. Helen is a writer, editor and researcher who was born in the UK and moved to Australia when she was twenty-one. She lives in the hinterland of Eden, New South Wales, where she indulges her love of gardening.

The Nib prize includes $20,000 cash. Voting for the popular Nib People’s Choice Prize are now open until 22 October. Australian readers are encouraged to vote for their favourite book from the shortlist with the winner awarded a $1000 prize.

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