In Memoriam - Robert M. Pirsig

Robert M. Pirsig
September 6, 1928 – April 14, 2017

Robert M. Pirsig was an American writer and philosopher who inspired generations to road trip across America with his “novelistic autobigraphy,” Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

He wrote just two books: Zen (subtitled An Inquiry Into Values) and Lila: An Inquiry into Morals. Zen was published in 1974 after being rejected by 121 publishing houses. “The book is brilliant beyond belief,” wrote Morrow editor James Landis before publication. “It is probably a work of genius and will, I’ll wager, attain classic status.”

Pirsig encountered Asian philosophies while stationed in South Korea, and he went on to study Hindu philosophy in India. He was eventually hospitalized for mental illness and returned to his home town of Minneapolis, where he began writing his first book.

He died at the age of 88 after a period of failing health.