The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death, Decay, and Disaster

By Sarah Krasnostein
Read by Rachael Tidd

9.29 Hours 04/10/2018 unabridged
Format: Digital Download (19Tracks) (In Stock)
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Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things: husband and father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, small businesswoman, trophy wife. But as a little boy, raised in violence and excluded from the family home, she just wanted to belong. Now she believes her clients deserve no less. A woman who sleeps among garbage that she has not put out for forty years. A man who quietly bled to death in his living room. A woman who lives with rats, random debris, and terrified delusion. The still life of a home vacated by accidental overdose. Sarah Krasnostein has watched the extraordinary Sandra Pankhurst bring order and care to these, the living and the dead―and the book she has written is equally extraordinary. Not just the compelling story of a fascinating life among lives of desperation, this is also an affirmation that, as isolated as we may feel, we are all in this together.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Pick of True Crime Summer Reads

Winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Nonfiction

Winner of the Australian Book Industry Award for General Nonfiction

Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things: husband and father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, small businesswoman, trophy wife. But as a little boy, raised in violence and excluded from the family home, she just wanted to belong. Now she believes her clients deserve no less.

A woman who sleeps among garbage that she has not put out for forty years. A man who quietly bled to death in his living room. A woman who lives with rats, random debris, and terrified delusion. The still life of a home vacated by accidental overdose.

Sarah Krasnostein has watched the extraordinary Sandra Pankhurst bring order and care to these, the living and the dead―and the book she has written is equally extraordinary. Not just the compelling story of a fascinating life among lives of desperation, this is also an affirmation that, as isolated as we may feel, we are all in this together.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A transgender former prostitute cleans up the fetid houses of the psychotic, the hopeless and the murdered. Sounds like some dubious TLC special, but it’s a fascinating bio of Sandra Pankhurst…Revelatory.” People
“A one-of-a-kind biography…[Pankhurst] promises to rid your home of everything from bedbugs to fresh human corpses…But she neglects to mention the most valuable of her services—the nonjudgmental respect and compassion she shows to clients living and dead.” New York Times
“Krasnostein’s playful yet heartfelt debut is one of the most arresting works of biography you will read in a long time.” Guardian (Sydney)
“An extraordinarily impressive debut, in terms of both quality of writing and treatment of the subject matter…Krasnostein handles her material with respect, grace, and compassion.” Sydney Morning Herald
“Absolutely stunning.” PopSugar
"[Pankhurst’s] story is probably one of the most touching, thoughtful, and thought-provoking you will ever read…Sarah Krasnostein tells it with moving compassion, even love.” New Zealand Herald
“A wondrous Portrait of an inspiring character.” Saturday Paper (Australia)
“Through countless encounters with the fetid, the neglected, and the downright tragic, Parkhurst has found meaning and peace, and Krasnostein a singular subject whom she approaches with well-deserved awe. Booklist (starred review)
“A life-affirming symphony composed of notes plucked from the detrius of everyday existence. Deeply humane in its execution, Sandra’s story will move you, challenge you, and continually delight you.” Bram Presser, author of The Book of Dirt
“Within the pages of The Trauma Cleaner Krasnostein has given us an extraordinary gift of humanity, life, and determination while carefully guiding us through the unspeakable conditions in which people find themselves in the face of trauma. Through sublime writing, Sarah Krasnostein expertly renders an unforgettable portrait of Sandra, one of the most compelling people I have ever read. I found myself constantly walking the line between frustration and utter love for this woman and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her and the life she has lived. Krasnostein is a master storyteller of creative nonfiction and I am in awe.“ Sarah Schmidt, author of See What I Have Done

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Sarah Krasnostein

Sarah Krasnostein is a writer and a lawyer with a PhD in criminal law. A fourth generation American and a third generation Australian, she has lived and worked in both countries.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 9.29
Audience: Adult
Language: English