Michael Mott, Thomas Merton Biographer and Lax Friend, Has Died at 88

(Photo of Michael Mott from the Wages & Sons Funeral Home website)

Michael Mott, who published a celebrated and definitive biography of Thomas Merton in 1984, died  at 88 on October 11. While working on his Merton biography, Mott relied heavily on interviews with Lax for both details and interpretations of some events in Merton’s life. During their work together, the two became friends. (Mott’s writings about Merton and his archives at Northwestern University were hugely helpful to me in the writing of my Lax biography.)

In addition to his Merton biography, The Seven Mountains of Thomas Merton, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Mott published 11 poetry collections, two adult novels, and two novels for children. You can read much more about his long life and many writings on his website.

PURE ACT Chosen as Finalist for the 2016 Association of Catholic Publishers’ Excellence in Publishing Award in Biography

From last Friday’s press release from the Association of Catholic Publishers:
BALTIMORE, MD – The Association of Catholic Publishers (ACP) is pleased to announce the finalists for the Excellence in Publishing Awards. The goal of these awards is to recognize the best in Catholic publishing.
A Still and Quiet Conscience (Orbis Books); Elizabeth Ann Seton (Pauline Books and Media); Flannery O’Connor (Liturgical Press); Fly While You Still Have Wings (Ave Maria Press); Joan Chittister: Her Journey from Certainty to Faith (Orbis Books); Oscar Romero: Prophet of Hope (Pauline Books and Media); Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax (Fordham University Press)
First, second and third place winners will be announced in June.