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National Catholic Reporter Talks About McGregor's Pure Act

30th April 2016

In the April 22nd-May 5th issue of the National Catholic Reporter, Dana Greene, dean emerita of Oxford College of Emory University writes about Fordham Press’ book, Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax by Michael N. McGregor.

The book, which came out in the fall of 2015, is a biography of experimental poet and spiritual seeker, Robert Lax, who inspired Thomas Merton, Jack Kerouac and many others.  Using information and stories drawn from journal entries, letters, interviews and Michael McGregor’s personal recollections, the book chronicles the development of Lax’s distinctive poetic style and a spontaneous, spiritual approach to life he called pure act.

Dana Greene, in her review, writes that “as a good biographer, McGregor does not directly answer the question, who is Robert Lax?  But the evidence lines up: Above all, Lax was a seeker after the authentic human life.”  She says:

“Pure Act is an admiring biography, one that is well-researched and written with affection. […] While Lax’s strange life -McGregor calls it an ‘uncommon’ life- will not cause readers to emulate it, it will provoke them to ponder what it is to be fully human.  This is, of course, one of the principal functions of biography, needed now more than ever.”

Pick up a copy of Fordham Press’ much talked about book today and step into the world of mystic and poet, Robert Lax.