Lizards. A portrait

Lizards. A portrait

136 pages

Hardcover with numerous illustrations

Genre: Nonfiction, Nature Writing, Nature, Essay
The smaller the lizard, the greater its hope of becoming a crocodile.

Joachim Sartorius fell for the world's most vigilant animal as a child in Tunis; for him, the lizard became a cipher for the south. Under the spell of their fixed, unblinking gaze, their tongues, their razor-sharp egg teeth, their clawed toes and their iridescent coloring, he is touched by the breath of a primeval world inhabited by dinosaurs and dragons. By telling of the glorious diversity of lizards as natural beings and symbolic creatures, he ignites a veritable lizard fever for the impenetrably alien creature with the cold blood. With his passionate plea for protected zones for the reptiles, he ultimately guides the lizard onto Noah's Ark, where it once found no place. 

German title: Eidechsen - Ein Portrait
ISBN: 978-3-95757-791-7
Publisher: Matthes & Seitz Berlin
Publication date: 2019
Series: Naturkunden Vol. 055
Illustration: Falk Nordmann
Sold to:


Sample translation

Complete German text available

Joachim Sartorius, born in Fürth in 1946, grew up in Tunis and now lives in Berlin and Syracuse after long stays in New York, Istanbul and Nicosia. He has published eight volumes of poetry that repeatedly deal with the Levant and its cultures, most recently Für nichts und wieder alles (2016), numerous books produced in collaboration with visual artists, and the poetic travel narratives Die Prinzeninseln (2009) and Mein Zypern (2013). He is the editor of the editions of the works of Malcolm Lowry and William Carlos Williams, and of the anthologies Atlas of New Poetry (1995), Minima Poetica (1999), and Never a Breath. Handbook of Political Poetry in the 20th Century (2014). He is a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry. In 2019 Sartorius received the August Graf von Platen Literature Prize. 

"With 'Lizards' Joachim Sartorius has succeeded in writing a book about these so fascinating animals that is as inspiring as it is entertaining." - Dirk Kruse, Bayerischer Rundfunk