Road Literature

Road Literature

Ronald Primeau, Romance of the Road: The Literature of the American Highway (1996)

Kris Lackey, Road Frames (1997)

David Laderman, Driving Visions: Exploring the Road Movie (2002)

1900: L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (annotated ed. by Michael Patrick Hearn, 2000)

1916: Emily Post, By Motor to the Golden Gate

1919: Sinclair Lewis: Free Air

1920: Beatrice Massey, It Could Have Been Worse

1921: Winifred Hawkridge Dixon, Westward Hoboes: Ups and Downs of Frontier Motoring

1927:  Franz Kafka, Amerika

1930: John Dos Passos, The 42nd Parallel

1931: John T. Faris, Roaming American Highways

1936: Zephine Humphrey, Green Mountains to Sierras

1938: Roland Wild, Double-Crossing America

1939: John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (best known proletarian road saga)

1941: Kaj Klitgaard, Through the American Landscape

1945: Henry Miller, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare

1946: Beth O’Shea, A Long Way from Boston

1947: Richard Phenix, On My Way Home

1948: Simone de Beauvoir, America Day by Day

1950: Michael Robertson, Beyond the Sunset

1952: John Clellon Holmes, Go

Carl Rowan, South of Freedom

1954: Jim Thompson, Rough Neck

1955: Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

1956: Nelson Algren, A Walk on the Wild Side

1957:  Jack Kerouac, On the Road

1958: Jack Kerouac, Dharma Bums;   The Subterraneans

Jim Thompson, The Getaway

1959: Alex Atkinson & Ronald Searle, By Rocking Chair Across America

1960:  Jack Kerouac, Lonesome Traveler

John Howard Griffin, Black Like Me

John Updike, Rabbit Run

1961: J.R. Humphreys, The Lost Towns & Roads of America

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charlie: In Search of America

1962:  Clancy Sigal, Going Away: A Report, a Memoir

Douglas Woolf, Wall to Wall

1965:  John A. Williams, This Is My Country Too

Truman Capote, In Cold Blood

1966: William Saroyan, Short Drive, Sweet Chariot

1968: Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

1969: William C. Anderson, The Two-Ton Albatross

Fred Bauer, How Many Miles to Hillsboro?

James Leo Herlihy, Midnight Cowboy

1970: Joan Didion, Play It As It Lays

Larry McMUrtry, Moving On

1971:  Michelle Cole, Stuart Black, Checking It Out

Don DeLillo, Americana

Katherine Dunn, Truck

Bill Moyers, Listening to America: A Traveler Rediscovers His Country

Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

1972:  Jack Kerouac, Visions of Cody

Tom Robbins, Another Roadside Attraction

Anne Roiphe, Long Division

1973:   J.G. Ballard, Crash

Jim Harrison, A Good Day to Die

1974:  Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

1975:  Mark Vonnegut, The Eden Express

1977:  Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

1978:  Eugene McCarthy, America Revisited: 150 Years after Tocqueville

1979:  David Seal, The Powwow Highway

1980:  John Keeble, Yellowfish

Hilma Wolitzer, Hearts

1981: Chet Fuller, I Hear Them Calling My Name

Jan Kerouac, Baby Driver

Larry McMurty, Cadillac Jack

Jonathan Raban, Old Glory: An American Voyage

1982:  William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways

Toby Olson, Seaview

Richard Reeves, American Journey: Travelling with Toqueville in Search of Democracy in America

William Saroyan, Short Drive, Sweet Chariot

1984:  Jayne Anne Phillips, Machine Dreams

John Updike, Rabbit Run

1985: Charles Kuralt, On the Road with Charles Kuralt

1987:  Jim Dodge, Not Fade Away

Dayton Duncan, Out West: An American Journey ( retraces Lewis & Clark)

Jayne Anne Phillips, Fast Lanes

Mona Simpson, Anywhere But Here

Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard

1988:  Jan Kerouac, Trainsong

Mary Morris, Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Travelling Alone

1989:  Bill Bryson, Lost Continent

Ian Frazier, Great Plains

Cynthia Kadohata, The Floating World

1990:  Charles Kuralt, My Life on the Road

1991: Jill Schneider, Route 66 across New Mexico

1992:  Douglas Brinkley, The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey

1994: Stephen Wright, Going Native

1995: Steven Dixon, Interstate

Jonathan Lethem, Amnesia Moon

1996: Chelsea Cain, Dharma Girl

1997: Mike Bryan, Uneasy Rider: The Interstate Way of Knowledge

Steve Erickson, American Nomad

1999: James Morgan, The Distance to the Moon: A Road Trip into the American Dream

2003: Tom Levinson, All That’s Holy: A Young Guy, An Old Car, and the Search for God in America

4 Responses to Road Literature

  1. Profile photo of Marlin Duro Marlin Duro says:

    The Odyssey by Homer
    The Inferno by Dante Alighieri
    Gilgamesh

  2. Profile photo of David Kane David Kane says:

    Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
    Alice In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
    Lolita – Nabokov
    Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister – Gregory Maguire

  3. Profile photo of Kaitlyn Kaitlyn says:

    The Canterbury Tales- Chaucer
    Naked Lunch- William S Burroughs (though I wouldn’t recommend it)
    The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings- J.R.R. Tolkien
    The Dark Tower Series and The Stand- Stephen King
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn- Mark Twain
    The Road, All the Pretty Horses, and The Crossing- Cormac McCarthy
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams
    The Speed Queen- Steward O’Nan

  4. Profile photo of Evan Azoulay Evan Azoulay says:

    The catcher in the Rye- J.D. Salinger

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