The Beauty of Koi, Folkwise

One family's creative project
From "Koi: A Modern Folktale," a book of photos and verse that will be discussed at BookHampton on July 29 at 5 p.m. Margery Harnick

Sheldon and Margery Harnick, and their son, Matthew, have pooled their talents to create “Koi: A Modern Folktale,” with photographs of the legendary fish by Margery and Matthew and text by Sheldon Harnick. They will talk about the book on July 29 at 5 p.m. at BookHampton in East Hampton. 

Ms. Harnick first began taking photographs of koi on a visit to her daughter, Beth, in Malibu, Calif. Those images led her to research the history of koi, which includes many legends that testify to their endurance and perseverance.

Mr. Harnick was inspired by the beauty of the fish to create his own legend, in which the pleasure provided by the fish leads the gods to transform them into powerful dragons. Because koi are Asian in origin, the narrative proceeds in haiku verses. Ms. Harnick’s images capture the beauty of the fish, while Matthew Harnick’s portray the gods and dragons.

Margery Harnick is an accomplished actress, painter, and photographer who has exhibited in New York City and East Hampton. Matthew Harnick recently published his own book, “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: A New York Holiday Tradition,” which includes both vintage photographs and his own. Sheldon Harnick is the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Broadway lyricist. The family has a house in East Hampton.