Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
An Inventory of Losses
Cover of An Inventory of Losses
An Inventory of Losses
Borrow Borrow

A dazzling book about memory and extinction from the author of Atlas of Remote Islands
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Financial Times Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Warwick Prize
Winner of the Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize
Longlisted for the International Booker Prize

Each disparate object described in this book—a Caspar David Friedrich painting, a species of tiger, a villa in Rome, a Greek love poem, an island in the Pacific—shares a common fate: it no longer exists, except as the dead end of a paper trail. Recalling the works of W. G. Sebald, Bruce Chatwin, or Rebecca Solnit, An Inventory of Losses is a beautiful evocation of twelve specific treasures that have been lost to the world forever, and, taken as a whole, opens mesmerizing new vistas of how we can think about extinction and loss.
With meticulous research and a vivid awareness of why we should care about these losses, Judith Schalansky, the acclaimed author of Atlas of Remote Islands, lets these objects speak for themselves: she ventriloquizes the tone of other sources, burrows into the language of contemporaneous accounts, and deeply interrogates the very notion of memory.

A dazzling book about memory and extinction from the author of Atlas of Remote Islands
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Financial Times Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Warwick Prize
Winner of the Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize
Longlisted for the International Booker Prize

Each disparate object described in this book—a Caspar David Friedrich painting, a species of tiger, a villa in Rome, a Greek love poem, an island in the Pacific—shares a common fate: it no longer exists, except as the dead end of a paper trail. Recalling the works of W. G. Sebald, Bruce Chatwin, or Rebecca Solnit, An Inventory of Losses is a beautiful evocation of twelve specific treasures that have been lost to the world forever, and, taken as a whole, opens mesmerizing new vistas of how we can think about extinction and loss.
With meticulous research and a vivid awareness of why we should care about these losses, Judith Schalansky, the acclaimed author of Atlas of Remote Islands, lets these objects speak for themselves: she ventriloquizes the tone of other sources, burrows into the language of contemporaneous accounts, and deeply interrogates the very notion of memory.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Judith Schalansky, born in Greifswald in 1980, lives in Berlin and works as a writer, book designer, and editor (of the prestigious natural history list at Matthes und Seitz). Her books, including the international bestseller Atlas of Remote Islands and the novel The Giraffe's Neck, have been translated into more than twenty languages.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    Starred review from April 15, 2020
    Objects, animals, and places that no longer exist, except in our collective imagination. Schalansky's fifth book is a collection of beautifully constructed stories about objects that have not survived the test of time. "Being alive means experiencing loss," Schalansky writes, and the world has experienced much loss. Animals, people, and places that once existed are now only memories due to inevitable decay, colonialism, the cleansing of records, and natural disasters. While in Schalansky's previous book, Atlas of Remote Islands (2010), she wrote of remote havens that remain difficult to reach even with modern travel, here she depicts the animals, people, and places that are only known through what details have been recorded or remembered. From fragments of Sappho's poems to a submerged South Pacific island, from the extinct Caspian tiger to the lost films of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, Schalansky brings us to the fantastical worlds of gladiator rings in ancient Rome, the ruins of a 19th-century German palace, and the surface of the moon. Tying the stories together are Schalansky's evocative, precise descriptions and the sense of wonder in confronting the sheer immensity of what has been lost. "The world...only grieves for what it knows," she writes. Schalansky documents her chosen objects with utmost care while relying on myth as she moves beyond what we know for fact to what we might imagine. "For myth is the highest of all realities and...the library the true theater of world events." 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. An exploration of extinct animals and objects told through dazzling stories that question the bounds of memory and myth.

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from June 1, 2020

    Twelve fictional essays comprise this stunning work depicting animals, places, objects, and buildings that are lost forever. In one chapter, the extinct Caspian tiger is imagined as both predator and victim in a fight to the death in the Roman Colosseum. Another chapter relates the story of the cobbled-together skeleton of a unicorn "discovered" by Otto von Guericke in a gypsum quarry. Elsewhere, marital infidelity is key to a remembrance of the East German Palace of the Republic. 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. Her descriptive writing of nature and botanical subjects is particularly accomplished. Indexes of persons, images, and sources are included. VERDICT In her quest to find meaning for herself, Schalansky examines life and death in a work that will inspire many hours of talk for book discussion groups. Not to be read quickly but savored and contemplated.--Lisa Rohrbaugh, Leetonia Community P.L., OH

    Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 8, 2020
    Schalansky’s inspired latest (after Atlas of Remote Islands) melds history, memoir, and fiction into something new and extraordinary: a museum of the extinct, the missing, and the forgotten. Chronicled in 12 short pieces, each based on a “lost” object—among them an early-20th-century film, fragments of Sappho’s poetry, destroyed Italian villas, demolished East German government buildings—the narratives are distinct, memorable, and, at their best, spellbinding. Some are highly researched, meticulously reconstructing historical places such as the the Villa Sacchetti at Castelfusano in Rome and figures such as 18th-century British explorer James Cook, who, in search of a then-mythical southern continent, “had ploughed the southern seas in huge, sweeping zigzags and discovered nothing but mountains of ice.” Other tales take on the flavor of impressionistic, contemporary memoirs, rooted in the narrative of a Schalansky-like writer-researcher as she explores the topic at hand. Still others have the feel of speculative fiction, so detailed in their histories that they feel like memories. In one, wild animals are brought to fight one another before the massive audiences of Rome; another follows the moments, both dramatic and mundane, of a day in the life of an East German couple. 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.

  • Michael Cronin;Irish Times It is hard to imagine a better guide to the resources of hope than Schalansky's deeply engaging inventory.
  • Library Journal (starred) Twelve fictional essays comprise this stunning work depicting animals, places, objects, and buildings that are lost forever... Not to be read quickly but savored and contemplated.
  • Los Angeles Review of Books Schalansky treats each of the 12 objects cataloged in her new book with an almost religious awe, like a believer giving herself up to be inhabited by spirits.
  • Kate Zambreno;New York Times Brilliant....an ambulatory and often playful meditation on history and forgetting.
  • Publishers Weekly (starred) Schalansky cements her reputation as a peerless chronicler of the fabulous, the faraway, and the forgotten.
  • Francesa Wade;The Baffler In rich, evocative, precise prose—beautifully translated from the German by Jackie Smith—Schalansky recalls these lost things and meditates on their destruction, all the while interrogating the extent to which memory—or writing—can compensate for material loss.
  • John Self;The Guardian A fine example of everyone's favourite genre: the genre-defying book, inspired by history, filtered through imagination and finished with a jeweller's eye for detail.
  • The Telegraph In each case Schalansky has alighted on fascinating material, and her delicately poetic turn of phrase is evident on every page.
  • The White Review Instead of a requiem for what is gone, Schalansky sings a dirge for what remains.
  • Wall Street Journal The translation from the German by Jackie Smith...is a triumph of subtle accuracy.
  • Kirkus (starred) An exploration of extinct animals and objects told through dazzling stories that question the bounds of memory and myth.
  • Anthony Doerr A celebration of what can still be accomplished with imagination, paper. and ink.
  • Robert Macfarlane Exquisite. Like the hero of Joris-Karl Huysmans's novel A Rebours, who sets off for London from Paris but realizes he need go no further than the Gare du Nord, Schalansky decides to make a virtue of absence.
  • Rosmarie Waldrop Utterly fascinating.
  • Sam Sacks;Wall Street Journal Disappearance may be a forlorn theme, but it has rarely been granted such reverent contemplation, or been made to feel so powerfully tangible.
  • Audrey Wollen;Bookforum Judith Schalansky's An Inventory of Losses and Maria Stepanova's In Memory of Memory are both trying to pin down echoes and build from dust.
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    New Directions
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
An Inventory of Losses
An Inventory of Losses
Judith Schalansky
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel