William Least Heat-Moon
|William Least Heat-Moon|
William Least Heat-Moon (2008)
|Born||William Lewis Trogdon
August 27, 1939
Kansas City, Missouri
|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|
|Genres||Deep 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.
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. 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.
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.
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" taken over the years between books. Robert Sullivan of the New York Times Book Review commented that Heat-Moon celebrates "serendipity and joyous disorder."
- 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
- Blue Highways, p. 4.
- Sullivan, Robert (December 14, 2008), "On the Road Again, Again", New York Times Book Review: 8
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: William Least Heat-Moon|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to William Least Heat-Moon.|
- 1983, 1984, 1991 Real Audio interviews with William Least Heat-Moon at Wired for Books.org by Don Swaim
- 1 January, 2010 interview with William Least Heat-Moon by Tom Ashbrook for National Public Radio, On Point
- Booknotes interview with Least Heat-Moon on River-Horse: A Voyage Across America, January 16, 2000.
- In Depth interview with Least Heat-Moon, August 7, 2005