RoadFrames: The American Highway Narrative

RoadFrames: The American Highway Narrative

by Kris Lackey


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RoadFrames: The American Highway Narrative by Kris Lackey

"Without a doubt Kris Lackey's RoadFrames is the finest interpretive analysis of the U.S. highway literature ever written. . . . Lackey offers compelling insights about our national obsession for movement."-Douglas Brinkley, author of The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey. RoadFrames surveys America's fascination with highway travel. In a lively discussion of books written as early as 1903 and as recently as 1994, Kris Lackey reveals the crucial roles the highway and automobile travel have played through generations of American writing. RoadFrames illuminates many of the grandiose myths and unsentimental realities that have shaped modern American life. Lackey examines-and debunks-the theme of rediscovering America, with drivers seeking to escape industrialized America and recover a mythic innocence and independence. He also traces the resonance of Thoreau, Emerson, and Whitman in such automobile travelers as Steinbeck, Tom Wolfe, and Jack Kerouac. This work includes an insightful discussion of road books by African American writers who reverse the Romantic assumptions of many white travelers, creating highway narratives in which escape and nostalgia are not possible. The book concludes with a discussion of seven novels, extending from Sinclair Lewis's Free Air to Stephen Wright's Going Native. Aficionados of the American highway will discover a trove of lost road writers, and they will see some of their old favorites in a fresh light. Kris Lackey is a professor of English at the University of New Orleans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780803279810
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Publication date: 02/28/1999
Pages: 180
Product dimensions: 6.04(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.45(d)

About the Author

Kris Lackey is a professor of English at the University of New Orleans.

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