(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

William Least Heat Moon 1939–

(Born William Trogdon) American Indian travel writer.

Heat Moon's first book, Blue Highways: A Journey into America (1982), is viewed as an important contribution to American "road literature." Works in this category, ranging from Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America to Jack Kerouac's On the Road, are distinguished by their presentation of fictional characters or actual persons who travel through the United States and record their experiences and impressions. Blue Highways, which recounts Heat Moon's travels through the backroads of the United States, has been praised for its sensitive and informative observations of the country and its people. Robert Penn Warren called Blue Highways "a masterpiece," adding that Heat Moon makes America "feel new in a very special way."