This book is about ghosts and gods and flying saucers and certainty in the absence of knowledge.
From award-winning author Sarah Krasnostein comes an exploration of the power of belief. Weaving together the stories of six extraordinary ordinary people, The Believer looks at the stories we tell ourselves to deal with the distance between the world as it is, and the world as we’d like it to be. How they can stunt us – or save us.
Some of the people you will meet believe in things most people don’t. Ghosts. UFOs. Heaven and the Devil. The literal creation of the universe in six days.
Others believe in things most people would like to. Dying with autonomy. Facing one’s own transgressions with an open heart.
In this intensely personal and gorgeously written new book Krasnostein talks with her characteristic compassion and empathy to these believers – and finds out what happens when their beliefs crash into her own.
Sarah Krasnostein is a writer. She is admitted to legal practice in Australia and America, and holds a doctorate in criminal law. She is the best-selling author of The Trauma Cleaner which won the Victorian Prize for Literature, the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Non-Fiction, the Australian Book Industry Award for General Non-Fiction, the Dobbie Literary Award, jointly won the Douglas Stewart Prize for non-fiction at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, was longlisted for the Walkley Book Award and was shortlisted for the National Biography Award, the Melbourne Prize for Literature and the Wellcome Book Prize (UK). Her work has appeared in a variety of publications and academic journals in Australia, the UK and America.
‘The Trauma Cleaner is a disturbing and fascinating read with a heavy, beating heart at its centre…[Krasnostein] shows how a writer can empathise and engage with a subject yet still paint a realistic portrait.’ Australian on The Trauma Cleaner
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Just as she did in her acclaimed debut, The Trauma Cleaner, Sarah Krasnostein proves herself to be an empathetic chronicler of the human experience in The Believer. Here she paints six finely shaded portraits of complicated people who hold faith in uncommon ideas. Beautifully written, the book’s strengths lie in its subtlety. Neither academic nor investigative in tone, it is a deeply moving contemplation of attachment and belonging. The most compelling chapters examine the universal inevitability of death and birth, and the loss and longing that come with both. Whether she’s writing about a Mennonite mother, a death doula or a UFO Christmas party, Krasnostein is also writing about herself and examining her own discomfort at the vastness of the unseeable. “Often,” she writes, “absence is more terrifying than presence”.