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The trauma cleaner [electronic resource] : One Woman's Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster. Sarah Krasnostein.

By: Krasnostein, Sarah.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: 2017Description: 1 online resource.ISBN: 9781925410761 (electronic bk).Subject(s): Nonfiction | Biography & AutobiographyGenre/Form: Electronic books.Online resources: Click to access digital title. | Excerpt Sample | Image Large cover image | Thumbnail Thumbnail cover image Summary: 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 loungeroom. 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. Sarah Krasnostein was born in America, studied in Melbourne and has lived and worked in both countries. Earning her doctorate in criminal law, she is a law lecturer and researcher. Her essay, 'The Secret Life of a Crime Scene Cleaner', was published on Longreads and listed in Narratively's Top 10 Stories for 2014. She lives in Melbourne, and spends part of the year working in New York City. The Trauma Cleaner is her first book. 'Amazing...I couldn't put this book down, and I can't wait to recommend it to everyone I know.' Readings '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 'An extraordinary life story superbly retold.' Tim Gott, Devonport Bookshop 'It's a truly remarkable story.' Joan Mackenzie, Whitcoulls 'The most original non-fiction book of the year...Written with warmth, humour and sensitivity, The Trauma Cleaner is utterly fascinating.' Page & Blackmore Booksellers
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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 she has not put out for forty years. A man who bled quietly to death in his loungeroom. 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. Sarah Krasnostein was born in America, studied in Melbourne and has lived and worked in both countries. Earning her doctorate in criminal law, she is a law lecturer and researcher. Her essay, 'The Secret Life of a Crime Scene Cleaner', was published on Longreads and listed in Narratively's Top 10 Stories for 2014. She lives in Melbourne, and spends part of the year working in New York City. The Trauma Cleaner is her first book. 'Amazing...I couldn't put this book down, and I can't wait to recommend it to everyone I know.' Readings '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 'An extraordinary life story superbly retold.' Tim Gott, Devonport Bookshop 'It's a truly remarkable story.' Joan Mackenzie, Whitcoulls 'The most original non-fiction book of the year...Written with warmth, humour and sensitivity, The Trauma Cleaner is utterly fascinating.' Page & Blackmore Booksellers

Electronic reproduction.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

Krasnostein, an Australian legal academic, profiles transgender trauma cleaner Sandra Pankhurst in this intriguing but vexing debut biography. Pankhurst runs a small business cleaning homes marred by blood, feces, drugs, mold, and garbage, but her personal history proves more fascinating. Krasnostein explores this history in chapters that alternate with cleaning-site visits. Six of the eight visits feature hoarders or squalor; two are to sites where accidental deaths occurred. Krasnostein details each site with tragic if repetitive effect, but rarely convincingly ties them to Pankhurst's life story. Born male and subsequently adopted and abused, Pankhurst eventually landed a blue-collar job, a wife, a drug addiction, and a prostitution habit, and helped raise two children, whom he abandoned to pursue a sex-change. After undergoing surgery, Pankhurst became a funeral director, married a wealthy husband, lost a business, then started a new one. At times she displays a violent temper, cheats on her spouses, exploits her employees, dismisses other trans people, and neglects her children, leaving them in poverty. Krasnostein downplays the complexity of Pankhurst's existence in favor of a glowing paean laden with cloying therapy-couch clichés and overwrought metaphors ("I listened to Sandra's news like it was the middle of the Han dynasty and she had just returned west from the Silk Road"). A complex protagonist makes for engaging material, but Krasnostein's fawning adulation minimizes and excuses her subject's flaws in favor of creating an inspirational story that never quite rings true. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* As journalist Krasnostein trails the titular trauma cleaner Sandra Parkhurst while she tidies the houses of all manner of hoarders and the places where people have died in all manner of terrible ways (and frequently been left to rot afterward), the pair encounters a moldering cornucopia of awful, often-frightening smells. Had this uniquely gifted and nuanced chronicler of offensive odors stuck with describing the fragrance of ancient dried blood, antediluvian dust, and unspeakable effluents, Krasnostein's debut would be memorable enough, but her subject's life story is more remarkable and often just as harrowing as the scent of the derelict apartments she excavates for a living. Adopted into a family that trounces the Dursleys in both favoritism and hostile neglect, Parkhurst had the near-catastrophic misfortune of being born transgender in Australia at a time long before such a designation was even conceivable. After an attempt at normality, Parkhurst turns to prostitution and drug abuse. Krasnostein encounters Parkhurst in the third iteration of her life: an aging widow with a terminal illness, a thriving business cleaning up putrid dwellings, and a miraculously chipper attitude. 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.--Williamson, Eugenia Copyright 2018 Booklist

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