THE CLASSIC BOOK THAT HAS INSPIRED MILLIONS
A penetrating examination of how we live and how to live better
Few books transform a generation and then establish themselves as touchstones for the generations that follow. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is one such book. This modern epic of a man’s search for meaning became an instant bestseller on publication in 1974, acclaimed as one of the most exciting books in the history of American letters. It continues to inspire millions.
A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions on how to live. The narrator's relationship with his son leads to a powerful self-reckoning; the craft of motorcycle maintenance leads to an austerely beautiful process for reconciling science, religion, and humanism. Resonant with the confusions of existence, this classic is a touching and transcendent book of life.
This new edition contains an interview with Pirsig and letters and documents detailing how this extraordinary book came to be.
Robert M. Pirsig (1928–2017) is the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which has sold more than five-million copies since its publication in 1974, and Lila, a finalist for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He graduated from the University of Minnesota (B.A., 1950; M.A., 1958) and attended Benares Hindu University in India, where he studied Eastern philosophy, and the University of Chicago, where he pursued a PhD in philosophy. Pirsig’s motorcycle resides in the Smithsonian Institution.
“An unforgettable trip.” — Time
“Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance sold millions of copies and made Pirsig a reluctant hero to generations of intellectual wanderers…Zen was an instant classic — a work of literature that captured the spirit of its time and retained its appeal long after the hippie movement had faded.” — Washington Post
“A touchstone. … Pirsig’s plunge into the grand philosophical questions of Western culture remained near the top of the bestseller lists for a decade and helped define the post-hippie 1970s landscape.” — New York Times
“The truly great road trip novel. … Many former angsty teens will surely fondly recall their own dog-eared, heavily underlined copies of Pirsig’s book, and the initial joy that accompanied reading something that felt so specifically personal and yet so urgently universal. … Zen’s ongoing reprints, its devoted fan base, and the countless road trips and pseudo-spiritual journeys it’s inspired are indicative of the book’s ongoing appeal.” — GQ
“Inspired college classes, academic conferences and a legion of 'Pirsig pilgrims' who retrace the anguished, cross-country motorcycle trip at the heart of his novel.” — Los Angeles Times
“Profoundly important...full of insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas.” — New York Times
“The book is inspired, original. . . . The analogies with Moby-Dick are patent.” — The New Yorker
“It is filled with beauty. . .a finely made whole that seems to emanate from a very special grace.” — Baltimore Sun
“A miracle . . . sparkles like an electric dream.” — The Village Voice