William Least Heat-Moon

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William Least Heat-Moon
William Least Heat-Moon 04B.jpg
William Least Heat-Moon (2008)
BornWilliam Lewis Trogdon
(1939-08-27) August 27, 1939 (age 74)
Kansas City, Missouri
OccupationWriter
LanguageEnglish
EthnicityEnglish, Irish and Osage ancestry
EducationBachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees in English
Bachelor's degree in photojournalism
Alma materUniversity of Missouri
GenresDeep map travel literature
Notable work(s)Blue Highways
 
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William Least Heat-Moon
William Least Heat-Moon 04B.jpg
William Least Heat-Moon (2008)
BornWilliam Lewis Trogdon
(1939-08-27) August 27, 1939 (age 74)
Kansas City, Missouri
OccupationWriter
LanguageEnglish
EthnicityEnglish, Irish and Osage ancestry
EducationBachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees in English
Bachelor's degree in photojournalism
Alma materUniversity of Missouri
GenresDeep map travel literature
Notable work(s)Blue Highways

William Least Heat-Moon, also named William Lewis Trogdon (born August 27, 1939), is an American travel writer 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 American Indian 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 Indian lineage. 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. 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 losing his teaching job and separating 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 an 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 and retraced Lewis and Clark's frontier exploration.

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

Roads to Quoz (2008) is another "road book", but it differs 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 Heat-Moon celebrates "serendipity and joyous disorder."[2]

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

An Osage Journey to Europe 1827-1830 (2013): The accounts of six Osage people who traveled to Europe in 1827, accompanied by three Americans, is translated into English by Heat-Moon and James K. Wallace.

Bibliography[edit]

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: 8 

External links[edit]