Saturday, February 22, 2020

"The Trauma Cleaner" by Sarah Krasnostein

As I really didn't read as many books as I would have liked to last year, and after having quite a few people tell me about the wide range of e-audiobooks that are available to borrow for free through various public library services like BorrowBox and Libby, I have decided to add more audiobooks into my life in 2020. Some I will re-visit books I have previously read as books, and enjoy them again as audiobooks to listen to while cooking dinner or doing things around home when it doesn't matter so much if I am concentrating the entire time. But others, like "The Trauma Cleaner" I am listening to as an audiobook without having read the book myself first.

"The Trauma Cleaner" was recommended to me by several people, including my Mum. I listened to it as a Bolinda Audio Book (narrated by Rachael Tidd) that I borrowed through the library. It is a hard book to describe, it describes the life of an amazingly strong and resilient character whose experiences are far outside my safe privileged bubble. Sandra Pankhurst, the person the book is about, had a traumatic abusive childhood that is awful to imagine, followed by many other traumatic experiences as an adult that are probably beyond comprehension for many people reading the book. As it says on the back on the book, "Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things: husband and father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, small business woman, trophy wife"....How someone gets through a life like this and comes out being such a wonderfully caring and generous soul is both mind-blowingly inspiring and also so heartbreaking. It is confronting in parts and I did cry but I thoroughly recommend this book. It really opened my eyes in lots of ways. 

The book has been short-listed and/or won a range of awards in 2018, including being the Winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards for Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2018. I was unsure whether to count this book for the Aussie Author Challenge, but on the author's website she describes herself as "A fourth generation American and a third generation Australian" who has lived and worked in both countries, currently living in Melbourne but spending part of the year working in New York City. So Ive decided to count her as an Aussie Author :-)

Started & finished listening in January 2020.
My score: 9/10
Stats: AudioBook, Female author, New Author to me, Australian author, biography, non-fiction.

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