About this item

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 she has not put out for forty years. A man who bled quietly 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, but an affirmation that, as isolated as we may feel, we are all in this together.



About the Author

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. Her essay, 'The Secret Life of a Crime Scene Cleaner', was published on Longreads and listed in Narratively's Top 10 Stories for 2014. As a law lecturer and researcher, her areas of specialization are: the history of crime and punishment, comparative criminal law, sentencing law and criminal justice policy. She lives in Melbourne and spends part of the year working in New York City. The Trauma Cleaner (Text Publishing / St Martin's Press) is her first book.



Read Next Recommendation

Discuss with your friends


Report incorrect product information.