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The Trauma Cleaner

A poignant and powerful celebration of one remarkable woman’s unrelenting drive to make order from chaos.

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.
Booklovers earn $1.60 in rewards when purchasing this title

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: The Trauma Cleaner
  • Author: Sarah Krasnostein
  • Publisher: The Text Publishing Company
  • ISBN: 9781925498523
  • Width: 153.0 millimetre
  • Format: PaperBack
  • Category: General Biographies
  • Publication Date: 02/10/2017
  • Pages: 320
  • Height: 20.0 millimetre
  • Weight: 389.0 gram

RATINGS & REVIEW

15/06/2018 10:40:29 AM - Emmah
AMAZING
I don't know where to start with this book... First of all, it is SO interesting to read about Sandra's daily job. Like obviously someone has to do what she does, but you never think of how much that involves. Secondly, Sandra's life is truly inspiring. This is a book that i wish was endless, so many more things i wanted to know! Sarah Krasnostein is a fantastic writer, who really captures the real Sandra. This is my favorite book.
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26/08/2018 10:59:21 AM - Donna
Not what you think
I am so disappointed with the author and how this book has been written. Firstly it jumps from the cleaning to the life of Sandra a transgender lady. There is death and shock parts of this book for which there is no build up to. It’s just glazed over with the other mundane things the author says. I say mundane because the way a scene is described is sometimes random and goes on a bit and really doesn’t resonate with most people fully. The wow did that happen parts I found I had to read twice to believe I just read that. Also there are the parts where the author adds her own thoughts and at one point story into the book. The reader reads to come to their own conclusions, this is unnecessary. The author maybe needed to be reminded the book isn’t about her. If you are buying this book to read mainly about the life of a trauma cleaner and all that goes with that from job to job, think again. This book is mainly about the vague life and memories of a transgender person than trauma cleaning. I found I was wishing the book to be finished faster because of the poor writing. The ending was just awful 🙈
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25/11/2017 5:25:37 PM - Marianne
A fascinating look at life as few of us know it.
“And though it must feel like a catacomb in that dark hour, and though every hour behind these blinds has been dark, the house is spinning with movement: mould is travelling up and down the walls, food is rotting, cans are rusting, water is dripping, insects are being born and they are living and dying, Janice’s hair is growing, her heart is beating, she is breathing. Which is to say that this, too, is life. Like the creatures that swim in the perfect blackness of the ocean floor, the ecosystem here would be unrecognisable to most people but this, too, is our world.” The Trauma Cleaner is the first book by American-born author, lecturer and researcher, Sarah Krasnostein. She first met Sandra Pankhurst, founder of Specialised Trauma Cleaning Services, at a conference. Learning about her tumultuous life happens as Sarah accompanies Sandra and her STC team on cleaning jobs. As well as seeing a side of life to which most of us are not privy, it quickly becomes apparent that Sandra’s own background makes her ideal for this sort of work: “Aside from a vast amount of technical skill that needs constant updating, I ask Sandra what else the work requires. ‘Compassion,’ she replies solemnly. ‘Great compassion, great dignity and a good sense of humour ‘cause you’re gonna need it. And a really god sense of not being able to take the smell in, ‘cause they stink. Putrid.’” The situations of the clients in the jobs may also trigger memories that Sandra has lost: “Many of the facts of Sandra’s past are either entirely forgotten, endlessly interchangeable, neurotically ordered, conflicting or loosely tethered to reality. She is open about the fact that drugs may have impacted her memory … It is also my belief that her memory loss is trauma-induced.” That chaotic past includes a cruelty-filled childhood, two marriages (one as a husband, another as a wife), fathering two sons, a sex-change operation, the death of a lover, a violent rape, a career as a drag queen, prostitute, taxi-cab scheduler, funeral arranger, hardware store owner, Chamber of Commerce President and cleaner. With regards hoarders, we learn that dead bodies are preferable to live ones, because no bartering or getting agreement or manipulation is required: the mess and smell are about the same. “…she is completely alone and living in a house full of books and yellowed newspapers and cats and their shit, which for years she has been unable to clean or unwilling to acknowledge so she presses newspaper on top like a layer cake.” Discussing this case later, the author’s father asks ‘What kind of hoarder was she?’ ‘Books and cats, mainly,’ I tell the man who loves his cats and who I know is now actively considering his extensive book collection. ‘What’s the difference between a private library and a book hoarder?’ he wonders. We are both silent before chuckling and answering in unison: ‘Faeces.’ But the difference is this phone call. And others like it I could make. And how strong we are when we are loved.” A fascinating look at life as few of us know it. This unsolicited copy received from Text Publishing for an unbiased review.
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SHIPPING AND RETURNS

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Flat rate Australia wide
Delivery time^
After dispatch
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via Australia post
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In addition to the estimated delivery date range, on the product page you will find how long an item will take to be dispatched.

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Explanation
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All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.

 

Tracking delivery

Saver Delivery: Australia post

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Parcel Weight New Zealand Hong Kong US & Canada United Kingdom

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$35

$40

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$45

$50

$60

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$40

$50

$60

$70

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$45

$60

$70

$80

3kgs

$50

$65

$75

$90

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$55

$75

$85

$100

4kgs

$60

$80

$95

$105

4.5kgs

$65

$85

$100

$115

5kgs

$70

$95

$110

$125

 

If your order weighs more than 1.0kg (2.2lb, roughly equivalent to 1 or 2 paperbacks), we'll let you know what your delivery charge will be, and seek your approval before sending your order.

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