Blue Highways: An Autobiographical Book by William Least Heat-Moon

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  • Topic: William Least Heat-Moon, Travel literature, Travel books
  • Pages : 2 (484 words )
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  • Published : May 27, 2013
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Blue Highways | William Least Heat-Moon | Chapter 1
Blue Highways isanautobiographicalbook by William Least Heat-Moon, William Least Heat-Moon, the byname of William Lewis Trogdon (born on August 27, 1939)is an American travelwriter of English, Irish and Osage ancestry. William Least Heat-Moon also has an Anglo name. He writes, "I have other names: Buck, once a slur...also Bill Trogdon." He explains his Osage identity humbly: "My father calls himself Heat Moon, my elder brother Little Heat-Moon. I, coming last, am therefore Least. It has been a long lesson of a name to learn." With that we begin.Heistheauthorof a bestselling trilogy of topographical U.S. travel writing. 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. Experts categorize this book as "travel literature". It is a travel book, for William traveled 13,000 miles, as much as possible on secondary roads (often drawn on maps in blue, especially in the old-style Rand McNally road atlas) and tried to avoid cities. Living out of the back of his van which has been named “Ghost Dancing”, 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 encounters in roadside cafés as well as his search for something greater than himself.  He describes places, converses with people, learns or reviews history. As may be expected, the places are common and strange, mundane and magical. Some are pleasing and peaceful; others evoke indignance in William, unpleasantness and judgment. Most of the people are kind, some of them are wise. Some are alive with vitality and hope, others ghosts or near ghosts. The events that caused him to put his usual life on hold, and take up...
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