Published in 1983 to phenomenal reviews, Blue Highways: A Journey into America became a cult classic on par with Jack Kerouac's On the Road and John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley. In this highly acclaimed, bestselling memoir, a 38-year-old laid-off college professor of Sioux and white blood drives around the U.S. on the "blue highways, " the rural back made that are colored blue on old maps. The places he discovers during his 13,000-mile journey are unexpected, sometimes mysterious, and often full of simply the wonder of the ordinary.-- Blue Highways received extraordinary reviews when it was first published: -- The current trade paperback edition (Houghton Mifflin) sells 25,000 copies a year but will be out of print by August 1999.-- Heat Moon's long-awaited next book, River-Horse, will be out in September and will draw much attention to this important author. it will be supported by a 14-city author tour, national advertising, holiday catalogs, and NPR sponsorship.-- This edition of Blue Highways will include a new introduction by the author.
In 1978, William Least Heat-Moon made a 14,000-mile journey on the back roads of America, visiting 38 states along the way. In 1982, the popular Blue Highways, which chronicled his adventures, was published. Three decades later, Edgar Ailor III and his son, Edgar IV, retraced and photographed Heat-Moon’s route, culminating in Blue Highways Revisited, released for publication on the thirtieth anniversary of Blue Highways. A foreword by Heat-Moon notes, "The photographs, often with amazing accuracy, capture my verbal images and the spirit of the book. Taking the journey again through these pictures, I have been intrigued and even somewhat reassured that America is changing not quite so fast as we often believe. The photographs, happily, reveal a recognizable continuity – but for how much longer who can say – and I'm glad the Ailors have recorded so many places and people from Blue Highways while they are yet with us." Through illustrative photography and text, Ailor and his son capture once more the local color and beauty of the back roads, cafes, taverns, and people of Heat-Moon’s original trek. Almost every photograph in Blue Highways Revisited is referenced to a page in the original work. With side-by-side photographic comparisons of eleven of Heat-Moon’s characters, this new volume reflects upon and develops the memoir of Heat-Moon’s cross-country study of American culture and spirit. Photographs of Heat-Moon’s logbook entries, original manuscript pages, Olympia typewriter, Ford van, and other artifacts also give readers insight into Heat-Moon’s approach to his trip. Discussions with Heat-Moon about these archival images provide the reader insight into the travels and the writing of Blue Highways that only the perspective of the author could provide. Blue Highways Revisited reaffirms that the "blue highway" serves as a romantic symbol of the free and restless American spirit, as the Ailors lose themselves to the open road as Heat-Moon did thirty years previously. This book reminds readers of the insatiable attraction of the “blue highway”—“But in those brevities just before dawn and a little after dusk—times neither day or night—the old roads return to the sky some of its color. Then, in truth, they carry a mysterious cast of blue, and it's that time when the pull of the blue highway is strongest, when the open road is a beckoning, a strangeness, a place where a man can lose himself” (Introduction to Blue Highways).
Language Arts & Disciplines by William Least Heat-Moon
Winner, Distinguished Literary Achievement, Missouri Humanities Council, 2015 The story behind the writing of the best-selling Blue Highways is as fascinating as the epic trip itself. More than thirty years after his 14,000-mile, 38-state journey, William Least Heat-Moon reflects on the four years he spent capturing the lessons of the road trip on paper—the stops and starts in his composition process, the numerous drafts and painstaking revisions, the depressing string of rejections by publishers, the strains on his personal relationships, and many other aspects of the toil that went into writing his first book. Along the way, he traces the hard lessons learned and offers guidance to aspiring and experienced writers alike. Far from being a technical manual, Writing Blue Highways: The Story of How a Book Happenedis an adventure story of its own, a journey of “exploration into the myriad routes of heart and mind that led to the making of a book from the first sorry and now vanished paragraph to the last words that came not from a graphite pencil but from a letterpress in Tennessee.” Readers will not find a collection of abstract formulations and rules for writing; rather, this book gracefully incorporates examples from Heat-Moon’s own experience. As he explains, “This story might be termed an inadvertent autobiography written not by the traveler who took Ghost Dancing in 1978 over the byroads of America but by a man only listening to him. That blue-roadman hasn’t been seen in more than a third of a century, and over the last many weeks as I sketched in these pages, I’ve regretted his inevitable departure.” Filtered as the struggles of the “blue-roadman” are through the awareness of someone more than thirty years older with a half dozen subsequent books to his credit, the story of how his first book “happened” is all the more resonant for readers who may not themselves be writers but who are interested in the tricky balance of intuitive creation and self-discipline required for any artistic endeavor.
Hailed as a masterpiece of American travel writing, Blue Highways is an unforgettable journey along our nation's backroads. William Least Heat-Moon set out with little more than the need to put home behind him and a sense of curiosity about "those little towns that get on the map -- if they get on at all -- only because some cartographer has a blank space to fill: Remote, Oregon; Simplicity, Virginia; New Freedom, Pennsylvania; New Hope, Tennessee; Why, Arizona; Whynot, Mississippi." His adventures, his discoveries, and his recollections of the extraordinary people he encountered along the way amount to a revelation of the true American experience.
About a quarter century ago, a previously unknown writer named William Least Heat-Moon wrote a book called Blue Highways. Acclaimed as a classic, it was a travel book like no other. Quirky, discursive, endlessly curious, Heat-Moon had embarked on an American journey off the beaten path. Sticking to the small places via the small roads -- those colored blue on maps -- he uncovered a nation deep in character, story, and charm. Now, for the first time since Blue Highways, Heat-Moon is back on the backroads. Roads to Quoz is his lyrical, funny, and touching account of a series of American journeys into small-town America.
This collection of theological essays, spiritual meditations, public prayers, and biblical interpretations provides a focus, day by day, for contemplation and reflection. By intention they are offered in media res, in the midst of the cacophony and chaos of life and particularly of academic life. These pages are markings along the journey, on the trail, and thus perhaps signposts for others coming along the same way. To some degree, the collection responds to similar, recent publication of 200-word daily selections from the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The assembly of materials revisits a favorite form of an earlier Dean of Marsh Chapel, Howard Thurman. Thurman easily and regularly captured thought and feeling in an assortment of forms--prayer, sermon, hymn, poem, litany, sermon--and worried very little about repetitions or the jostling inherent in formal variety. Charles River follows after these and similar works, and is offered as a daily resource for those receiving and offering, the divine grace of freedom, acceptance, forgiveness, pardon, and love.
"John Steinbeck's Salinas Valley. Richard Wright's Chicago. Leslie Marmon Silko's New Mexico. Readers often have strong connections with literary places like these. And some works of literature can even change our understanding of the world we live in. But can place also change our view of literature? Site-Reading advances a place-based approach to literature, reading classic texts through the twin lenses of geographical awareness and environmental thought. This book highlights recent developments in ecocriticism and geocriticism to argue for a theory of "ecospatiality" with nature, space, and story as the three elements of place. Site-Reading reconsiders well-known works of twentieth-century American prose and shows how social and environmental issues always overlap. Travel writer William Least Heat-Moon, whose work embodies the ecospatial perspective, portrays his experiences with place on the local, regional, and continental scales. Classic novels by Silko, Willa Cather, and Ana Castillo-usually discussed in isolation-converge in a way that maps diverse cultural perspectives and environmental threats onto the shared geography of Central New Mexico. A reading of Steinbeck's Salinas Valley Watershed texts investigates the impacts of literary tourism in "Steinbeck Country" before drilling down into Steinbeck's portrayals of spatial development and environmental history. And an innovative analysis of Native Son shows how Richard Wright uses cartographic details to decry the spatial/racial politics of South Side Chicago in the 1930s. In this book, Lowell Wyse shows how place provides the grounds for both human experience and critical practice. By bringing together concepts like literary cartography, deep mapping, and bioregionalism in an "ecospatial" approach, Site-Reading not only maps new terrain between ecocriticism and geocriticism, but also shows why place matters-in the world and in the text"--
In its 13th Edition, the iconic Oral Interpretation continues to prepare students to analyze and perform literature through an accessible, step-by-step process. New selections join classic favorites, and chapters devoted to specific genres—narrative, poetry, group performance, and more—explore the unique challenges of each form. Now tighter and more focused than its predecessors, this edition highlights movements in contemporary culture—especially the contributions of social media to current communication. New writings offer advice and strategies for maximizing body and voice in performance, and enhanced devices guide novices in performance preparation.
This study brings together the genres of autobiography and environmental literature. It examines a form of grief narrative in which writers deal with mourning by standing outside the text in writing about the natural world, and inside it in making that exposition part of the grieving process.
Walt Whitman "is America," according to Ezra Pound. More than a century after his death, Whitman's name regularly appears in political speeches, architectural inscriptions, television programs, and films, and it adorns schools, summer camps, truck stops, corporate centers, and shopping malls. In an analysis of Whitman as a quintessential American icon, Kenneth Price shows how his ubiquity and his extraordinarily malleable identity have contributed to the ongoing process of shaping the character of the United States. Price examines Whitman's own writings as well as those of writers who were influenced by him, paying particular attention to Whitman's legacies for an ethnically and sexually diverse America. He focuses on fictional works by Edith Wharton, D. H. Lawrence, John Dos Passos, Ishmael Reed, and Gloria Naylor, among others. In Price's study, Leaves of Grass emerges as a living document accruing meanings that evolve with time and with new readers, with Whitman and his words regularly pulled into debates over immigration, politics, sexuality, and national identity. As Price demonstrates, Whitman is a recurring starting point, a provocation, and an irresistible, rewritable text for those who reinvent the icon in their efforts to remake America itself.
Have you ever wanted to just quit your job and live the free life? How many times have you passed an RV on the highway, and wished that you could escape your daily grind and just travel? I was a teacher in the public school system for 23 years, and after traveling across America with my husband, who was an over the road trucker, I decided that the four walls of my classroom had become a prison instead of a profession. This novella is a retrospective of the three years that we traveled and workcamped in parks across the nation. This is a factual look at our experiences as workcampers. The free life is wonderful, but we learned that workcamping isn't always campfires and civility. Sometimes living in an RV park is really no different from the suburb you left behind. Follow our journey and take a first-hand look at full-timing in an RV and the challenges it presents as we assimilate to an unconventional lifestyle that many Americans are embracing.
Four short novels that go together the way short steps can make a stairway to heaven, describing a year of living vibrationally, which lead to a lot of ecstasy. It was not a year of living Biblically, it was a year of living ecstatically.
From the acclaimed author of Blue Highways, PrairyErth, and Roads to Quoz, a dazzling collection of travel tales from the road. Here, There, Elsewhere draws together for the first time William Least Heat-Moon's greatest short-form travel writing. Personally selected by the writer, these pieces take us from Japan, England, Italy, and Mexico to Long Island, Oregon, Arizona, from small towns to big cities, ocean shores and inland mysteries. Including Heat-Moon's reflections on writing these pieces, Here, There, Elsewhere is much more than the usual collection of amber; it is a coupled summation of craft and memory. A perfect treasury of prose and provocation for readers old and new, Heat-Moon's most recent work reveals his absolute mastery across pages many and few.