Tony Hillerman, Novelist, Dies at 83
He was always one of my favorites.
I saw that notice and it saddened me. He was a unique and skilled writer. I enjoyed his mysteries even though mystery is not usually the genre I enjoy. A friend of mine, who also writes, while on vacation in Arizona, called Hillerman and got himself and invite to his house. They visited for an afternoon. My friend had the highest praise for Hillerman as a fine person and regular guy.
This item led our local news last night, and I cried as I listened. When we moved to New Mexico 15 years ago, someone told me that one of the best ways to learn about Navajo culture, religion, and practices was to read Tony Hillerman's books, so I set about getting copies of all of them. I've learned so much from his books, including a couple of words of Navajo -- not a language that a layman should try to learn to speak, much less write. He was a New Mexico icon, and he will be missed.
As an aside, I had out-of-state visitors and attempted to give the wife some of the paperback editions of the Hillerman books--she "thumbed through" one of them and refused them, saying they were full of witchcraft and other things she didn't believe in. When I tried to tell her that was the Navajo way, she still refused to take them. I was astounded that she would refuse to read something that might broaden her horizens and her knowledge.
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Truly an icon author about the Southwest.
There is a Tony Hillerman on my night stand this very moment. Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn!
I will certainly miss his books. I'll have to keep re-reading them. They are true treasures.
Too back Nancy, I have also felt when we stop trying to learn we die.
I went through a Tony Hillerman phase maybe 20 years ago where I read I think every book he had written to that point. I haven't kept up with his later stuff but used to plow though his stuff in a couple nights cuz it was so hard to put it down. He'll be missed.
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