Robert M. Persig, the author who inspired a generation to explore the open road with his novel-like autobiography died April 24, 2017 at his home in South Berwick, Maine.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was rejected by more than a hundred publishers, before finally being published in 1974. The book quickly became a best seller.
“In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.″
— Robert M. Persig
It's no easy read. Based loosely on a cross-country motorcycle trip with his young son, the journey is laced with snippets from Persig's psyche. But the book offered fresh perspectives— such as the subtle beauty of feeler blades, or the contemplative benefits of a long stretch of lonesome highway.