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William Least Heat-Moon, regarded as one of the finest American travel writers, is the author of three classics in American literature. "Blue Highways: A Journey into America" (1982, 1999), was selected by Time magazine as one of the best nonfiction books of 1983. "PrairyErth" (1991), a portrait of a small county in the Midwest, was selected by the American Library Association as the Best Work of Nonfiction for 1991. Both of these books were selected by The New York Times as Notable Books of the Year. His most recent book, The New York Times best-seller "River-Horse: The Logbook of a Boat Across America" (1999), documents the adventure of a coast-to-coast journey from Elizabeth, N.J., to Astoria, Ore., made entirely over the nation's waterways. Least Heat-Moon, who has been honored with the Mahan Award in Poetry and a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Missouri at Columbia, lives near Columbia, not far from bluffs overlooking the Missouri River.