Kaz Tanahashi, Translator
Allan Baille, Photographs
In Lotus,Kaz Tanahashi and photographer Alan Baillie provide a super-close-up view of one of world culture's most famous flowers. Baillie's carefully assembled collection of photographs of the lotus capture the legendary flower throughout its "life," as it were: from seed to brilliant flower, and finally, into dust. Some of Baillie's photographs rival the best of the genre; these are truly "classical" in their approach. But he also provides a wholly fresh view, providing surprising images from each stage of the lotus's existence. Readers will alternate between swooning, and exclaiming, "I can't believe that's a flower!"
Editor Kaz Tanahashi, an expert of Asian cultures and storytelling, offers the perfect complement to the photography here. His introductory frontmatter tells of the lotus' prominence in various cultures, and the mystical and practical meanings that the flower continues to embody. Next to appear are his carefully selected poetry and prose-extractions, chosen to match Baillie's photographs, on facing pages. Each illuminates the other, making Lotus a gratifying way to relax, please the eyes, and feed the mind.