All content © Robert Williamson

All content © Robert Williamson

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One of my Favorite Novelists has Died

This is not fly fishing related but I felt a need to mention that one of my favorite authors has passed away. Tony Hillerman creator of the popular mystery novels featuring Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police died on Sunday, October 26, 2008. He was 83. Hillerman lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico and used the Desert Southwest area as the backdrop to his novels. His love for the culture of native people of the area and the harshness of the land brought a certain flavor to his writing. Early on Hillerman was told by an agent that if he wanted to be a success at writing, he needed to drop the Indian stories. The fact that Hillerman became a best selling author by sticking to his genre, points to his ability to write and carry out a story with compelling characters, cultural understanding, enchanting scenery, and dialogue that carries the reader into the world Hillerman creates. Hillerman authored somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 novels with such best sellers as, Skinwalkers, Coyote Waits, Talking God, A Thief of Time, Hunting Badger, Fallen Man, The First Eagle, The Ghostway, The Dark Wind, Skeleton Man and his last novel, Shape Shifter. Hillerman received the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Silver Spur Award for best novel set in the West, and his most cherished award, the Navajo Tribe's Special Friend Award. I have read every novel he wrote and often find myself reaching for them when I feel a need to escape and wander through the arid Southwest again.


cutthroat stalker said...

My goodness, I hadn't heard that! I love the Leaphorn/Chee series. I really hadn't realized he was that old. I just came across his books about three years ago. I've also watched a couple of the books that had been turned into a series (I think for PBS). I especially enjoy the culture/religion aspect of the books. Thanks for passing along the info.

Tony, Thanks for the many hours of pleasure you've given me.

-scott c

Wildnative said...

For a long time I had no interest in fiction and just couldn't read it. I had an english collge professor ask me to read some and when I told him I couldn't read fiction because it wasn't real and didn't happen, he taught me that it did happen, even if it was in the mind of the author and the reader. Since then, I have looked at fiction different and when I found the Hillerman books, I just loved them.

My favotite places have been in the mountains near streams, but I must admit, my other places of intrique are the southwest desert areas.

Thanks for the comment Scott.