Sheldon and Margery Harnick to Release 2nd Book, KOI: A MODERN FOLKTALE, This June
Koi are unusually beautiful creatures. Perhaps because of their unusual beauty, koi have inspired a variety of legends. The recurrent theme in these legends is that koi, because of their endurance and perseverance, have become symbolic of overcoming adversity and fulfilling one's destiny. In one of the more celebrated versions of this legend, koi are rewarded for their endurance and perseverance by being transformed into dragon fish.
While visiting with their daughter, Beth, in Malibu, Margie began taking photos of the koi. Sheldon and Margie both wondered "where do these fish come from?" After researching the history of koi, they discovered there were many legends behind the fish. However, Sheldon was inspired by the extraordinary beauty of the fish and Margie's photographs to create his own legend.
According to Sheldon, "we felt that the delight we experienced from simply observing these exquisite creatures was more than enough to earn them a glorious reward."
In this version, koi are rewarded for a reason other than endurance and perseverance. Through the years, the gods have noted how much pleasure men and women have derived simply from observing the prismatic beauty of the koi. For this gift to mankind, the gods decided to transform the most beautiful koi into majestic and powerful dragons.
Margery Harnick's photographs not only show this transformation taking place but also capture the remarkable beauty of these creatures in ways that most people have never seen. Additional photographs by Matt Harnick portray the gods and the dragons.
Since koi are Asian in origin, Sheldon Harnick has chosen to deliver the narrative in the form of haiku verses. The union of photographs and verses makes a charming and artistically satisfying combination.
What the Harnicks' colleagues and friends have said about the book:
"In this masterful book, Margie, Matt, and Sheldon Harnick weave together their disparate crafts. Through their luminous photos and his beautiful poetry, they frame the mighty Koi and get after its essence. You'll never see Koi the same again". - Lin-Manuel Miranda
"Margery Harnick joins the pantheon of extraordinary photographers. In her latest book, dedicated to those exotic, mysterious and gloriously beautiful Japanese koi, she captures the almost religious essence of these mythic creatures. And Sheldon Harnick's haiku verses celebrate a culture which, incredibly, traces its origins to Paleolithic times". - Hal Prince