Judith Schalansky was born in Greifswald in former East Germany in 1980 and studied art history and communication design. Her international best-seller, Atlas of Remote Islands, won the Stiftung Buchkunst (the Art Book Award) for the most beautifully designed book of the year , while her novel The Giraffe's Neck in the English translation by Shaun Whiteside won a special commendation of the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for the best translation from German in 2015. Both books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Schalansky works as a freelance writer and book designer in Berlin, where she is also publisher of a prestigious natural history list, Matthes und Seitz.
With this collection of illuminating meditations on fact and fiction, Schalansky cements her reputation as a peerless chronicler of the fabulous, the faraway, and the forgotten - Publishers Weekly Schalansky's meticulously researched stories are poignant reminders of the extent of our impact on the natural world and a call to honor the animals, objects, and places that, due to our own negligence, have ceased to exist - Kirkus Review Twelve fictional essays comprise this stunning work depicting animals, places, objects, and buildings that are lost forever. [...] In this smooth and expert translation, internationally best-selling author Schalansky (The Giraffe's Neck) illuminates these lost inventoried gems with thorough research and details, making us ponder their transitory quality - Library Journal