Sarah Krasnostein

Books Daniel Kirschen, +1 212 556 5600 Email Daniel Kirschen

The Trauma Cleaner

book | Non-Fiction | Mar 2018
UK & Comm → Text (Ed. Michael Heyward)
US & Canada → St Martin's Press Inc (Ed. Laura Chasen)

Winner of the Victorian Prize of Literature 2018
Winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction 2018
Shortlisted for the Indie Book Award for Non-Fiction 2018

One Woman's Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death, Decay, and Disaster 

It’s not the police, firefighters, or EMTs that clean up a crime scene - that’s the job of a trauma cleaner, specifically Sandra Pankhurst. 

Sandra’s life is stranger than fiction: she was an orphan, a young father, then a drag queen, funeral director, housewife - and for the past twenty years, her job has led her - always with a smile, never with a shred of judgment - into dark homes where death, sickness and madness reign, to sift through the debris of lives abruptly ended. 

This is the daily manifestation of her life’s calling: to make order from chaos.  


Film Rights


Contact Daniel Kirschen for more information

Helen Manders manages the translation rights for The Trauma Cleaner

Audio Rights


The audio rights are handled by Liz Farrell.

Translation Rights Sold

Chinese Complex
Sun Color
Lind & Co

Krasnostein’s playful yet heartfelt debut is one of the most arresting works of biography you will read in a long time.

Lou Heinrich
The Guardian

Krasnostein is an astute observer of human nature and her understated yet elegant prose is reminiscent of Helen Garner.

Kara Nicholson
Full Review

Written with sensitivity, insight and warmth… 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.

Portia Lindsay
Books + Publishing
Full Review

Superbly sensitive… A truly unusual biography which is both confronting and edifying.

F. J. O'Dwyer
Toowoomba Chronicle

Surely the most original non-fiction book of the year... Written with warmth, humour and sensitivity, The Trauma Cleaner is utterly fascinating.

Page & Blackmore Booksellers NZ

Krasnostein has done a clean-up of her own, untangling the narrative behind Pankhurst’s own cluttered memories... She lets Pankhurst’s courage, humanity and sheer decency shine through. It’s a fascinating read.

Robyn Douglass
SA Weekend

This is the startling life story of Pankhurst, a trans woman with a heart the size of Uluru, written in Krasnostein’s irresistibly warm, frank, intelligent voice as she describes sites of sadness and horror that take the reader straight to the dark heart of the human condition.

Kerryn Goldsworthy
Australian Book Review

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
Full Review