Here, There, Elsewhere

by on March 5th, 2013
Here, There, Elsewhere Cover Image

The author of Blue Highways, Roads to Quoz, and PrairyErth, William Least Heat-Moon, has written his newest book called Here, There, Elsewhere; Stories From the Road.  This volume is a series of chapters, each one unique, about his lifetime of travels all over the world and here at home.  There is something for everyone in this collection of articles, many never before published.  Because my daughter was married in Yosemite National Park I especially loved that chapter and felt like I was right there with the wandering author.  I felt the same about all the Missouri connections as well.  What is really neat for me is that I knew the author, not by his pen name but as Bill Trogden, in my years at the University of Missouri in Columbia.  He was a doctoral student in the English Department and I was an English major and then Library School graduate student.  I knew he traveled, kept a journal, loved his beer, and was a thoughtful and introspective kind of guy–but who would have known that he’d become such a well-respected and famous author!  I thought he’d end up as an English professor somewhere.  He also grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, like me, so I was familiar with many of the places he mentioned in his writing.  I can’t remember if it was Prairie Lights Bookstore or the Writers’ Workshop at Iowa that brought Bill to Iowa City a few years ago.  He stopped in the Iowa City Public Library and I happened to see him; we enjoyed catching up with each others’ lives.  Back to his new book… I don’t drink beer and yet even I enjoyed the chapter on micro-breweries in the United States and all the references made to the pubs in Ireland, England, and Wales.  The chapter on his hiking in Oregon was also appealing because my daughter now lives in Corvallis and I’ve visited there as well as Portland and the Oregon coast.  My husband and I are taking an Alaskan cruise in August and I enjoyed reading about the Tlingit people in another chapter. Throughout the book, the author who is part Osage Indian, makes many comments about the injustices done to our native people.  Bill is brilliant and well-read, with a terrific grasp of history and literature, not to mention his enviable travels all over the globe. His vocabulary is astonishing.  The selections contained in this latest work of travel writing are appealing to a readership who like a challenging book and yet can pick and choose the parts they want to read.  Of course I read his book from cover to cover and was completely amazed at the fine writing.  Check it out if you like intellectual quest books and introspective, articulate travel writing about journeys of the mind, body and soul.

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