A Portrait

164 pages

Hadcover with numerous illustrations

Genre: Nature Writing, Nature, Essay, Nonfiction

Admittedly, there are more attractive animals: Their slippery skin and body marked by spots and warts repel us, and their life in the mire, with its aura of rot and stench, involuntarily reminds us of where we all go once. Beatrix Langner shows in her knowledgeable and elegant natural and cultural history of the ponderous hopper that we should encounter the toad less with disgust than with fascination. On her toad walk, she leads us through art and literature, past the dissecting tables of science and into our own backyard, illuminating these dazzling creatures in the intermediate realm of dry and wet, water and land, male and female. The fact that it likes to orchestrate its joyful reproductive lust with trilling and croaking soundscapes should win us over just as much as the fact that, as an amphibian, it is one of the oldest and most steadfast representatives of life on earth. Whether we like it or not, there is a toad in each of us - not only in terms of evolutionary history.

German title: Kröten - Ein Portrait
ISBN: 978-3-95757-546-3
Publisher: Matthes & Seitz Berlin
Publication date: 2018
Series: Naturkunden Vol. 040
Illustration: Falk Nordmann
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Beatrix Langner, born in 1950, holds a doctorate in German studies, is an author and literary critic, and lives in Berlin. Since 1990, she has written numerous radio features and cultural reports for Deutschlandradio Berlin as well as feature articles and reviews for Süddeutsche Zeitung, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Deutschlandfunk, etc. 

By the same author(s)

"Anyone who has read this book, which is as illuminating as it is combative, will certainly look at toads with different eyes in the future." - Kai Agthe, Mitteldeutsche Zeitung