The Truth Hurts – By Andrew Boe

Boe’s Book

Boe. Burma Born. Bright Boy. Brisbane Bred. Buranda Bellringer. Bold Barrister. Brave Book.

The Truth Hurts reveals Andrew Boe’s philosophical development as a lawyer and contemporary thinker.  From migrant origins to young law clerk, he is now one of the most sought-after barristers in Australia. His clients range from the indigent to self-claimed billionaires.

Boe didn’t set out to write a book. He was penning reflections about a troubling case: Damien, his client, faced a manslaughter trial after inflicting tribal punishment which went fatally awry.  Damien’s people, from the Gibson Desert, had no contact with White Australia until the 1980s.  Since then, the community had become a dystopian nightmare at the edge of the rest of the world.

The theme of edges continues.  Boe’s characters stem from diverse edges of society, particularly its bruised edges; Indigenous youth, battered women, social outcasts, the intellectually impaired, indefinitely-detained stateless refugees, and household names such as Pauline Hanson’s confederate David Ettridge, and backpacker murderer Ivan Milat.  It journeys from suburban backyards to remote communities largely unknown but housing deep social trauma; places where living conditions edge towards the Fourth World such as Yuendumu and Palm Island, blistered by racism and violent deaths.

In 15 short stories, Boe candidly reflects on society and the justice system.  He urges nuanced conversation about long overdue topics; domestic violence, systemic discrimination, Aboriginal deaths in custody, colonial disruption and consent in rape cases.  But he challenges for more than that; rhetoric on the “national shame” is meaningless alongside the obvious worsening of statistics.

Boe confronts cracked edges in the justice system; underfunded representation, criminal sentencing and barriers faced by people especially those of colour and diversity.  There, if  justice is done, sadly, it is incidental.   Boe opines that our paternalistic past is no longer workable in contemporary Australia.  A system that upholds equality before the law is naïve when social equality does not exist.

In the wake of Black Lives Matter, #MeToo and greater scrutiny of judicial office, the prescience of Boe’s narrative is obvious and his call to action more urgent.

Everyone, especially lawyers, ought to read this thoughtful, relevant and inspiring work.


Hachette Australia published The Truth Hurts.  More details are here.

Further Information

  • A professional profile on Andrew Boe is here.
  • A detailed article about Andrew Boe and The Truth Hurts was written by Trent Dalton and published in The Australian on 8 August 2020, a copy of which is here.
  • A detailed article about Andrew Boe and The Truth Hurts was written by Bridget Delaney and published in The Guardian on 22 August 2020, a copy of which is here.
  • A detailed article about Andrew Boe and The Truth Hurts was written by Naomi Neilson and published in  Lawyers Weekly on 18 August 2020, a copy of which is here.
  • Andrew Boe’s interview on ABC Late Night Live with Phillip Adams is here.
  • Andrew Boe’s interview on ABC Conversations with Sarah Kanowski is here.
  • This article was published on 1 September 2020 in LSJ, a copy of which is here.

Where to Purchase

Online copies (both e-book and paperback) are available on various platforms including Hachette, Booktopia, Amazon and in book stores including Abbeys, Dymocks, Glebe Books and Kinokuniya.


This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!