The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein

The Trauma Cleaner

A fascinating, incredible true story about the person who spends her life cleaning up after traumas.Do you know who cleans up a murder scene? It's not the police or the paramedics. It's people like Sandra Pankhurst, a trauma cleaner for whom death and decay are a part of life. Sandra's trauma work includes crime scenes and floods, real estate agents, executors of deceased estates, and charitable organizations. All call on Sandra to deal with lone...

Details The Trauma Cleaner

TitleThe Trauma Cleaner
Release DateApr 10th, 2018
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Death, Biography

Reviews The Trauma Cleaner

  • Jaclyn Crupi
    I hope I don't need a trauma cleaner in life or in death but if I do I hope I get one like Sandra Pankhurst. This is a unique Australian memoir; one where the author subtly inserts herself into the telling of a life not her own. Sandra is and has been so many things: trans, father, step-mother, husband, drag queen, sex worker, wife, businesswoman. She has experienced horrendous violence and many traumas and she has inflicted trauma on others, nam...
  • Michael Livingston
    A brilliant portrait of an amazing person. Krasnostein stumbled across Sandra Pankhurst, a professional trauma cleaner with an incredible life story and has crafted a thoughtful, moving and sometimes hilarious biography. Chapters alternate between Sandra's life story and snippets of her current life (and the lives of the people that she's cleaning up after). It's a smart structure and Krasnostein is a sympathetic and sensitive biographer - this i...
  • Text Publishing
    ‘Written with sensitivity, insight and warmth…Krasnostein has pieced together a compelling history through careful research and interviews. The Trauma Cleaner is no ordinary trauma narrative: we see how the infliction of multiple traumas has left this fascinating woman uniquely placed to restore order among the despair of others, and it is with similar care that Krasnostein has produced this book.’Books & Publishing‘Amazing…I couldn...
  • Ruth
    This is definitely my pick of 2017Half the book is a fascinating account of the job of a trauma cleaner; the kind of jobs they do and the people that they meet. There are captivating interviews with their clients, particularly the hoarders at varying levels of denial. Sandra, the head of the company, is witting and saucy - a real character.The other half of the book is Sandra's back story. Sandra was born biologically a man. Her story is a fascin...
  • Karen
    Sometimes a book comes along that defies easy description. This is that book. Uplifting, heartbreaking, fascinating and uncomfortable in equal measure.
  • Kate
    This book. Wow.Harrowing. Courageous. Repulsive. Compelling. Heartbreaking. Uplifting. Fascinating.The Trauma Cleaner, like its star, Sandra Pankhurst, is genre-defying. Author Sarah Krasnostein shadowed Sandra over a number of years, observing her day-to-day activities and recording the story of her life before she was a cleaner. And that story is remarkable – Sandra was a husband and father, drag queen, sex reassignment patient, sex worker, b...
  • Zora
    Best to go into this not knowing much, as its power comes from an author absolutely committed to capturing her subject and the worlds in which she moves and has moved. It says a lot that this book could have been truly awful and sensational, and it is absolutely not.
  • Ivana Dawe
    Thank you Sandra Pankhurst for sharing your amazing journey . Thought I was reading a story about the life of a trauma cleaner and got soooooo much more! Beautifully written , lots of sadness, love and compassion. My beast read for 2017 ❤ Thank you Sandra Pankhurst for sharing your amazing journey . Thought I was reading a story about the life of a trauma cleaner and got soooooo much more! Beautifully written , lots of sadness, love and compa...
  • Kat
    Too exceptional for words, will come back & write a review later.
  • Kay
    While I thought the book was very interesting, the ending wasn't satisfying. I would have liked to know how Sandra's health is now, and whether she is still working. Thank you to St. Martin's Press, author and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
  • Bram
    A life-affirming symphony composed of notes plucked from the detritus of everyday existence. Deeply humane in its execution, Sandra's story will move you, challenge you and continually delight you.
  • Romany
    This book deserves a million stars. To think this incredible woman’s story might have gone untold! And that all the smaller stories of the people who had died and who were burying themselves might also have gone unnoticed... it’s a miracle of a book. It’s also heartbreaking, and a list of all the ways people mistreat each other. But Sandra just shines.
  • Sunshine
    I received an ARE of this book on NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions/thoughts expressed are my own. Four and a half stars!I would put a quick trigger warning on this book as it does feature an explicit content rape scene, child abuse, extreme hoarding conditions (filth hoarding, animal, etc.) suicide, murder, transgender issues, and prostitution. If you are unable to handle reading about these topi...
  • Caren
    A must read! Literally unputdownable. This exploration of the strength of Sandra Pankhurst's resilience and dedication to return dignity to her "clients" is mesmerising. Pankhurst's survival of a childhood of unspeakable abuse and her journey towards becoming the woman she felt destined to become are conveyed by the author with exceptional skill and respect. Sarah Krasnostein was on her way to becoming a writer in Year 12, when I had the privileg...
  • Vnunez-Ms_luv2read
    I am very iinterested in anything about the trauma cleanup. This book did open my eyes to the cleaning of differnt types, ie: drug overdose, etc. The book was an ok read. I would have liked to read more about the actual clean-ups and less about the author's life as a transgender. The book also goes into details about his life as a man, marriage , children, etc. The books title leads you to believe that the book is about trauma cleaning. Yes, the ...
  • Jules
    Sandra's life has been stranger than fiction and Sarah Krasnostien writes it beautifully. Sandra is a fascinating character who has experienced so much; in turn, this book is more than a biography, it is a lesson in Melbourne's queer history, an intimate look at the very real ways mental health issues sometimes manifest and a case study of domestic violence, family breakdown and intergenerational trauma.Sandra has clearly inspired the author both...
  • Cee Davis
    I think I loved the idea of this book more than I actually loved reading it. Don't get me wrong, it was quirky and interesting - and at times disturbing - all of which I was hoping for, but I just felt this kind of disconnect with the Sandra. And, if I'm totally honest, I wanted to know more about some of the strange cases she's worked. I felt like there was a little too much of the hoarding jobs and not enough of the other kinds of trauma jobs i...
  • Linda Curran
    If there is an award category for this type of book this one deserves book of the Grandmother was a hoarder and memories of what it took us to clean her house up came flooding back but I also have more of an understanding now after reading this book and the trauma in her life that led her to live like this...mingled with Sandras incredible life..i laughed and actually cried at the end..thank you for an incredible story.
  • Sheryl
    I received this book through giveaways.I didn't finish this book, I may come back to it. I was curious to know what a trauma cleaner did but found the descriptions of "death, decay and disaster" unpleasant. I am a visual person and the scenes this book conjures up are not for me at present.
  • Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
    Very excellent read.
  • Amy
    FascinatingThought it may be gruesome. It was...but it was way more than that. A brilliantly written story about a fascinating indvidual.
  • Ellen
    This book is a stunning biography wrapped up in the disguise of an unusual profession. This clever format allows the story within to sneak under your skin. And lord, is it a story.
  • Tim
    Excellent book. Possibly my favourite of 2017.
  • Madeleine Griffeth
    Not only is this book extraordinarily compassionate, but it is also exceptionally well-written. I would leap on anything else from this author, Sarah Krasnostein.