Zen & Now: The Baby Boomer's Guide to Middle Life


110 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-00-222848-3





Reviewed by Joan McGrath

Joan McGrath is a Toronto Board of Education library consultant.


The brightly-starred, eye-catching blurb on the cover tells it all; “For the first generation that is growing up and turning 40 at the same time.” All middle-aged Zen folk (can it be true?) who used to say they would “Never trust anyone over 30” are now looking back over quite a gulf of years to those distant days when they were 30 themselves, and beyond — comparing Zen and Now.

Zen was when you wore flowers in your hair and spouted poetry; now you have no time left after slugging it out at the office all day for anything more poetic than the game shows on TV. Zen, you used to be shocked at two men walking hand in hand, mixed marriages, etc.; now, you are shocked at first marriages that last. Back when only women did it, it was called “Cooking, Childrearing, Housework”; now that men do it too, it is known as “Gastronomy, Parenting, and Domestic Duties.” Children of the ‘60s adrift in the chilly ‘80s, look back at yourselves and laugh, perhaps with a catch in your throat. Parents of the children of the ‘60s can probably look back and say “Didn’t I tell you so?” Both poignant and very, very funny; cleverly scratchy cartoon illustrations.


Breslin, Mark, Eve Drobot, and Larry Horowitz, “Zen & Now: The Baby Boomer's Guide to Middle Life,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 18, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/35737.