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William Least Heat-Moon
William Least Heat-Moon 04B.jpg
William Least Heat-Moon (2008)
Born William Lewis Trogdon
(1939-08-27) August 27, 1939 (age 76)
Kansas City, Missouri
Occupation Travel writer, historian
Language English
Ethnicity English, Irish and Osage ancestry
Education Bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees in English
Bachelor's degree in photojournalism
Alma mater University of Missouri
Genre Deep map travel literature
Notable works Blue Highways

William Least Heat-Moon, also named William Lewis Trogdon (born August 27, 1939), is an American travel writer and historian of English, Irish, and Osage ancestry. He is the author of various bestselling books of topographical U.S. travel writing.

Biography[edit]

Least Heat-Moon has ancestry of both Native American and Euro-American lineages. His ancestry is reflected in his names: the Trogdon family name comes from his Euro-American lineage, and the Heat-Moon name reflects his Native American lineage and is derived from his family's experience in the pseudo-Native American Tribe of Mic-O-Say. William's father is Heat-Moon, his elder brother is Little Heat-Moon, and he is thus Least Heat-Moon.[1] Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Least Heat-Moon grew up in Missouri and attended the University of Missouri, where he earned bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees in English as well as a bachelor's degree in photojournalism. He was a member of the Beta-Theta chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon, and he also served as a professor of English at the university.

He currently resides in Rocheport, Missouri, a small town in Boone County, Missouri, along the Missouri River about 10 miles west of Columbia.

Works[edit]

Blue Highways, which spent 42 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list in 1982–83, is a chronicle of a three-month-long road trip that Least Heat-Moon took throughout the United States in 1978 after he had lost his teaching job and been separated from his first wife. He tells how he traveled 13,000 miles, as much as possible on secondary roads (which he points out were often drawn on maps in blue, especially in the old-style Rand McNally road atlas), and tried to avoid cities. Living out of his van, he visited small towns such as Nameless, Tennessee; Hachita, New Mexico; and Bagley, Minnesota to find places in America untouched by fast food chains and interstate highways. The book records memorable encounters in roadside cafés as well as his search for something greater than himself.

PrairyErth is a deep map account of the history and people of Chase County, Kansas.

River-Horse is Least Heat-Moon's account of a four-month coast-to-coast boat trip across the U.S. in which he traveled almost exclusively on the nation's waterways from the Atlantic to the Pacific, with many of the nearly 5,000 miles following journeys taken by early explorers like Henry Hudson and Lewis and Clark.

Columbus in the Americas (2002) is a brief history of Christopher Columbus's journeys.

Roads to Quoz (2008) is another "road book," but it differs from his previous such works in the sense that it is "not one long road trip, but a series of shorter ones"[2] taken over the years between books. Robert Sullivan of the New York Times Book Review commented that Least Heat-Moon celebrates "serendipity and joyous disorder."[2]

Here, There, Elsewhere (2013) draws together Least Heat-Moon's greatest short-form travel writing.

An Osage Journey to Europe 1827-1830 (2013) contains the accounts of six Osage people who traveled to Europe in 1827, accompanied by three Americans; it was translated into English by Least Heat-Moon and James K. Wallace.

Writing Blue Highways is a follow-up to William Least Heat-Moon’s best-selling Blue Highways. Heat-Moon reflects on the journey and talks about writing, publishing, personal relationships, and many other aspects that went into writing the book.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Blue Highways: A Journey Into America. Fawcett, 1982. ISBN 0-449-21109-6
  • The Red Couch: A Portrait of America. With Kevin Clarke and Horst Wackerbarth. Olympic Marketing Corp, 1984. ISBN 0-912383-05-4
  • "A Glass of Handmade." The Atlantic, November 1987.
  • PrairyErth (A Deep Map). Houghton Mifflin, 1991. ISBN 0-395-48602-5
  • River Horse: The Logbook of a Boat Across America. Houghton Mifflin, 1999. ISBN 0-395-63626-4
  • Columbus in the Americas (Turning Points in History). Wiley, 2002. ISBN 0-471-21189-3
  • Roads to Quoz: An American Mosey. Little, Brown and Company, October 2008. ISBN 978-0-316-11025-9
  • Here, There, Elsewhere: Stories from the Road. Little, Brown and Company, January 8, 2013. ISBN 0316110248
  • An Osage Journey to Europe 1827-1830: Three French Accounts. University of Oklahoma Press, October 2013. ISBN 0806144033
  • Writing Blue Highways: The Story of How a Book Happened. University of Missouri Press, May 2014. Hardcover, 978-0-8262-2026-4 / E-book, 978-0-8262-7325-3.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Blue Highways, p. 4.
  2. ^ a b Sullivan, Robert (December 14, 2008), "On the Road Again, Again", New York Times Book Review, p. 8 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Least_Heat-Moon — Please support Wikipedia.
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384 news items

The Atlantic

The Atlantic
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 15:00:23 -0800

There is a high-toned tradition of road trips as a means of “discovering” America, from Lewis and Clark and Tocqueville through John Dos Passos, John Steinbeck, and William Least Heat Moon (whose Blue Highways made its debut in these pages).

Columbia Daily Tribune

Columbia Daily Tribune
Sat, 16 Jan 2016 22:08:06 -0800

Paul Theroux, Robert Young Pelton, Bill Bryson and William Least Heat-Moon are some of my favorite writers. What they have in common is that they are not only observers of what is happening, but become a part of what they are sharing with us. Recently ...

Memphis Business Journal (blog)

Memphis Business Journal (blog)
Mon, 13 Jul 2015 14:16:10 -0700

I love to read — it's arguably my only hobby — and I married a librarian — we met as coworkers at a bookstore in the 1990s. I edit and write for a living. Of all my pet causes, the most important to me is probably literacy. A few years ago, I got ...

KBIA

KBIA
Tue, 03 Jun 2014 15:07:14 -0700

Whether you paint, write essays or solve engineering problems, Columbia author William Least Heat-Moon has written a book that illuminates the creative process. Least Heat-Moon discussed his new book Writing Blue Highways on KBIA's Thinking Out Loud ...

Stay Thirsty Media

Stay Thirsty Media
Mon, 23 Jun 2014 23:56:15 -0700

William Least Heat-Moon is one of America's indefatigable travelers, a man on a perpetual quest to know himself and his country. He made his reputation with Blue Highways, a detailed account of a 1,300-mile journey through America. Heat-Moon undertook ...

Kansas City Star

Kansas City Star
Fri, 23 May 2014 12:00:35 -0700

The book was greatly anticipated, as it was a follow-up to his 1983 best-seller, “Blue Highways,” both written under the pseudonym of William Least Heat-Moon. So it was with considerable patience that Trogdon, upon receiving a distracted reporter at ...

KCUR

KCUR
Tue, 14 Jan 2014 06:43:54 -0800

... sit down with the New York Times best-selling author to talk about that fateful trip and his career since. Guest: William Least Heat-Moon, author of Here, There, Elsewhere: Stories from the Road, Blue Highways, Prairyerth, River-Horse and Roads to ...

Kansas.com

Kansas.com
Sun, 14 Apr 2013 05:53:45 -0700

The topic is travel, and the locations are far-flung: Kansas to New Zealand, Long Island to Japan, Great Britain to Alaska. William Least Heat-Moon's latest book is not a meandering travelogue, however, but a philosophical peregrination about the act ...
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