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Boye, Alan 1950-

Boye, Alan 1950-


Born 1950, in Lincoln, NE; son of Arthur and Matilda Boye; married Linda Wacholder; children: two. Ethnicity: "White/Anglo." Education: University of Nebraska, B.A., 1972; graduate study at University of Oregon; University of Texas, M.A.


Office—Department of English, Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, VT 05851.


Lane Community College, Eugene, OR, instructor, 1977-84; University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, assistant professor of communication, 1984-87; Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, VT, professor of English, 1987—, Neihardt Professor, 2000.


Mari Sandoz Award, 1972; Theodore Christian Hoopfner Award, 1999; Centrum artist resident, 2000; Ragdale resident, 2004.


Guide to the Ghosts of Lincoln, Saltillo Press (St. Johnsbury, VT), 1983, 20th anniversary edition, 2003.

Complete Roadside Guide to Nebraska, prefaces by Wright Morris and Ron Hansen, Saltillo Press (St. Johnsbury, VT), 1989.

Holding Stone Hands: On the Trail of the Cheyenne Exodus, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 1999.

Just Walking the Hills of Vermont, Bondcliff Books (Littleton, NH), 2004.

Tales from the Journey of the Dead: 10,000 Years on an American Desert, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 2006.


Alan Boye, a native of Nebraska, wrote two travel guides to his state in the 1980s before devoting his attention to one of the lesser-known events in the tragic history of Native America: the long, often violence-scarred 1878 trek of some 300 Northern Cheyenne Indians who were fleeing the constraints of a new reservation. Boye and three descendants of one of the leaders of that incident retraced the journey from Oklahoma to Montana on foot, an experience that formed the basis for his book, Holding Stone Hands: On the Trail of the Cheyenne Exodus. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called Holding Stone Hands "a gracefully written and compassionate account," and commented that the author "greatly enriches this story by describing his own hardships retracing the exodus through a starkly beautiful landscape."

Boye told CA: "In 2004 I combined natural history, history, and folklore in a series of essays based on walks that I took in the Green Mountain state. The essays in Just Walking the Hills of Vermont are unified by the development of three central themes: the importance of an awareness of the present, the sweep of history, and a contemplation of the natural passing of time.

"The book Tales from the Journey of the Dead: 10,000 Years on an American Desert doubles as the first naturalistic overview and the first history of one of the most isolated places in the continental United States. Traveling New Mexico's Jornada del Muerto desert by foot, I visited remote battle sites of the Mexican-American War and the Civil War, as well as the isolated site of the world's first atomic explosion. Using details from my own exploration of the desert as well as interviews, oral histories, and archival materials, I present those who have tested the desert: mysterious ancient people who once lived in cliff-top fortresses, Spanish conquistadors, Mexican farmers, old-time cowboys yodeling classical poetry to their cattle, and modern range managers tracking livestock by satellite. In the sand and the ruins of war, I discovered stories of sadistic killers, directionless rebels, and gun-toting gauchos, as well as tales of poets and dreamers, or ordinary men and women who lived their lives and continue to live under a ruthless desert sky."



Publishers Weekly, July 19, 1999, review of Holding Stone Hands: On the Trail of the Cheyenne Exodus, p. 176.

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