Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Local Literary Lion

SkinwalkersThe boy who made dragonfly : a Zuni mythDance hall of the deadThe great Taos bank robberyThe Jim Chee mysteriesNew Mexico Rio Grande and other essays

Writer Tony Hillerman passed away on October 26. Although not a native New Mexican, his love and understanding of his adopted state are evident in the many works from his 30-plus year writing career. Best known for his Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee mystery novels, Hillerman was an ambassador of the cultures of New Mexico.

Tony Hillerman won several awards for his writing, including the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Dance Hall of the Dead, and in 1991 he received the title Grand Master for lifetime achievement from the Mystery Writers of America. His favorite award was from the Navajo Nation, when in 1987 he was named the Special Friend of the Dineh. The City of Santa Fe has issued a resolution to honor him.

You don't need to be a mystery reader to enjoy Hillerman. He's written memoirs, travel books and mythology. But for non-mystery buffs, his novels are compelling, engrossing, and dangerous to read on a stormy autumn night.

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