Kieran Egan had a fantasy. Inspired by a visit to a friend’s miniature Zen garden on a balcony in Nagoya, he returned home determined to build his own Japanese garden.
Like many men his age, with kids grown up and moved away, he was ready to tackle something new and tackle was the right word. Even before he began, he had to spend days hacking at the overgrown thicket where his garden would be. At night, dreaming of roots with nothing to do but grow, he thought less about Zen masters than about Dorothy Parker, who observed, Every year, back comes spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants.” In spite of the running conflict between Zen philosophy and his own rather slapdash methods, he succeeded in creating a treat for the eye and spirit.” Like Michael Pollan’s A PLACE OF MY OWN, BUILDING MY ZEN GARDEN will appeal to men, and to women as a gift for men. In these prosperous times, when men of the baby-boom generation are often looking for something new, building a Zen garden could very well be it even if, after reading and laughing at the author’s adventures, they never build one themselves.
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Kieran Egan, originally from Clonmel, Ireland, has published sixteen academic books. He holds two Ph.D.'s in education, from Stanford University and from Cornell. He is a professor at Simon Fraser University.From Publishers Weekly:
This riotous narrative recounts how a middle-aged Irish Canadian transformed a weedy area of his backyard into a peaceful Zen garden, and how he struggled to tame his Western character along the way. Inspired by the miniature garden a friend built on her apartment balcony in Japan, Egan "set out in a rather indirect and rambling way to make a paradise" back home in Vancouver. With wry humor he details his efforts to outwit weeds "of supernatural and malevolent cunning" and to hack through primordial tangles of bindweed using his favorite new tool: the mattock. Reality lags behind dreams as Egan struggles to lay tons of stone, copes with a sagging new fence and conquers his timidity before the "real people" in the gardening business. (He quickly realizes, "It is hard for the middle-class type to get lumberyard chic just right.") Do-it-yourselfers will identity with Egan's anguish as he no sooner clears an area of unwanted vegetation than it creeps back, even stronger, in new spots. Even the water in his pool finds unwanted channels and outlets. Ultimately, however, his Japanese quince lives, the bamboo thrives and the water falls gracefully into the pond rather than thudding down in torrents. Egan admits that a few clever-fingered Japanese experts might have converted his garden far more efficiently than his "ham-fisted" self, but then readers, especially male garden-types, would have been denied the pleasure of this humorous and informative memoir. Many b&w photos mark milestones in the transformation that is a "mixture of Eastern Zen and Western irony." (Nov. 10)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110618063781
Descripción Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0618063781
Descripción Estado de conservación: Brand New. New. Nº de ref. de la librería A14564