Sarah Krasnostein

Sarah Krasnostein is a writer and lawyer with a doctorate in criminal law. Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, she divides her time between Melbourne and New York. Sarah’s first book, The Trauma Cleaner, won Australia’s Victorian Prize for Literature, where it was a runaway bestseller.


  • Generous and compassionate. . . . Her talent for penetrating intimate settings and eliciting personal testimony is impressive. The profiles are fascinating.

    —The Washington Post

  • Revelatory.

    —The New Yorker

  • A fascinating portrait of the human condition, Sarah Krasnostein’s latest explores a range of belief systems through six profiles—of a death doula, a geologist, a ghost-hunting neurobiologist, ufologists, a woman accused of murder, and Mennonite families living in New York. A great read for our ‘deeply fractured times.’


  • Explores the power of belief by weaving together six profiles of people who believe in ghosts and gods and flying saucers, people with whom Krasnostein has very little in common.

    —The Rumpus

  • This is a must-read if you love these kind of journalistic deep-dives into Characters with a capital C. . . . You get that very rare experience of feeling like you understand other people a little bit better.

    —What's Nonfiction

  • Compassion and curiosity permeate
    Sarah Krasnostein’s writing. Every few pages there is a line so
    poignant it takes my breath away.

    —Sasha Sagan, author of For Small Creatures Such As We, Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World

  • Sarah Krasnostein takes us on an unexpected journey through strains of belief that range from dubious to bizarre. It is sometimes disconcerting, sometimes deeply beautiful, and never simple.

    —James Gleick, author of Time Travel: A History

  • Sarah Krasnostein holds a mirror to the world we inhabit but don’t fully understand, helping us see how our lives are shaped by beliefs at once wholly strange and unexpectedly familiar. Lyrical, haunting, endlessly curious, The Believer will restore your faith in the power of stories to bridge the gaps between us.

    —Peter Manseau, author of The Apparitionists

  • In an era when it often appears as though beliefs are our biggest dividing lines, Sarah Krasnostein’s The Believer comes as a great tonic—a thoughtfully reported, entertaining, and empathetic examination of the beliefs that sustain yet sometimes dangerously mislead. Exacting yet compassionate, she takes readers deep inside communities and lives that may be distant from us, offering portraits that refract back on our own worlds. The result feels deeply wise. If reading a book can make you more human, The Believer does just that.

    —Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, author of The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir

  • Sarah Krasnostein’s The Believer is filled with everything the world needs more of: compassion, curiosity, and tenderness. Krasnostein brilliantly shows us how to look more carefully, listen more closely, and love more expansively. A complicated, lyrical portrait of belief, meaning making, and the stories we tell that might save us.

    —Sarah Sentilles, author of Stranger Care

  • Fascinating.


  • This collection of essays will be great for groups looking for something approachable but thoughtful as Krasnostein explores all kinds of strangers’ beliefs about the afterlife, a higher power, and everything in between and what happens when their beliefs clash with the beliefs of others. It’s definitely a poignant piece for today and will open up lots of discussion possibilities for book groups.

    —Book Riot

  • An illuminating meditation on the nature of belief and the quest for meaning.

    —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

  • Brimming with poetic hope. . . . The Believer is an outstanding treatise on human relationships, with one another and the unexplained.

    —Shelf Awareness, Starred Review