Consisting of 28 vignettes and 53 color nature photographs, Earth Passages tells the story of the author growing up in the inner city ghetto of San Francisco’s Chinatown – in poverty, in a housing project, at the age of 11 sewing in a garment sweatshop. In the girl's rare escapes into the woods she discovers a magical world so unlike the ghetto in which she lives. The stories from childhood are paired with color nature photographs taken by the author as an adult. The stories are terse, pithy and powerful. They transform and imbue the very beautiful nature photographs with a much more complicated, almost bittersweet meaning.
Thank you SO much for your wonderful book! It is brave and strong and beautiful.
Alice Walker, Author, The Color Purple
The vignettes of childhood and nature photos operate with a similar economy and profound emotion – spare, distilled snapshots of growing up poor in an urban ghetto; intimate, knowing images of desert and rainforest, stone and seashore, trees and water... landscapes very much informed by the path taken to get there
Linda Li, artist, San Francisco
When I read Earth Passages, I was stunned by the honesty and beauty of it. There were many stories that brought tears to my eyes, and many that made me smile. By opening her life in such a clear way, and pairing the stories with her incredibly gorgeous photos, Lora Jo Foo paves the way for girls and women OF ALL BACKGROUNDS to open their own lives. Helen Zia, Author, ASIAN AMERICAN DREAMS
Earth Passages gives readers tantalizing glimpses into Lora Jo Foo's memories of childhood and especially of her mother, whom she can forgive after she is able to describe the pain in expressive vignettes and attempt to heal it with images of nature that she captures with the eyes and heart of an artist: sensuous rock formations, snow-capped mountain tops, misty seascapes, and especially trees, their gnarled trunks and lacy branches seeming to offer support and even a loving embrace. Elaine Kim, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
The images in Earth Passages are wonderful; but the mana of the stories - awesome!
Angela Oh, Peace Advocate
Lora Jo Foo's stories are touching, painful and deeply honest. She gives us a window into life behind the restaurants and souvenir shops of Chinatown and shows us the healing process that nature provides. It's the kind of book that takes a lifetime to write. Wendy Tokuda, Journalist