Tony Hillerman

Tony Hillerman

Tony Hillerman (born 27 May 1925) is an award-winning American author of detective novels and non-fiction works.

His mystery novels are set in the Four Corners area of New Mexico and Arizona. The protagonists are Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee of the Navajo tribal police. Lt. Leaphorn was introduced in Hillerman's first novel, "The Blessing Way" (1970). The second book in the series, "Dance Hall of the Dead" (1973), won a 1974 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Novel. In 1991, Hillerman received the MWA's Grand Master Award. Hillerman has also received the Nero Award (for "Coyote Waits") and the Navajo Tribe's Special Friends of the Diné Award. [cite web|url=http://www.tonyhillermanbooks.com/about/about.html|date=n.d.|accessdate=2007-02-19|title=Tony Hillerman: About Hillerman/Bibliography|work=tonyhillermanbooks.com]

Hillerman, who was born in Sacred Heart, Oklahoma, is a decorated combat veteran from World War II, serving as a mortarman in the 103rd Infantry Division and earning the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart. Later, he worked as a journalist from 1948 to 1962. Then he earned a Masters degree and taught journalism from 1966 to 1987 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he still resides with his wife. Hillerman, a consistently bestselling author, was ranked as New Mexico's 22nd wealthiest man in 1996. [Barrett, W.P. [http://members.aol.com/wmpb/CrossRich/page6.html The 25 Richest People in New Mexico] "Crossroads", October 1996.]

Hillerman's writing is noted for the cultural details he provides for the people he writes about: Hopi, Zuni, European-American, federal agents, and especially Navajo. His works in non-fiction and in fiction reflect his appreciation of the natural wonders of the American Southwest and his appreciation of its people, particularly the Navajo.

Leaphorn & Chee books

#"The Blessing Way" (1970) ISBN 0-06-011896-2
#"Dance Hall of the Dead" (1973) ISBN 0-06-011898-9
#"Listening Woman" (1978) ISBN 0-06-011901-2
#"People Of Darkness" (1980) ISBN 0-06-011907-1
#"The Dark Wind" (1982) ISBN 0-06-014936-1
#"The Ghostway" (1984) ISBN 0-06-015396-2
#"Skinwalkers" (1986) ISBN 0-06-015695-3
#"A Thief of Time" (1988) ISBN 0-06-015938-3
#"Talking God" (1989) ISBN 0-06-016118-3
#"Coyote Waits" (1990) ISBN 0-06-016370-4
#"Sacred Clowns" (1993) ISBN 0-06-016767-X
#"The Fallen Man" (1996) ISBN 0-06-017773-X
#"The First Eagle" (1998) ISBN 0-06-017581-8
#"Hunting Badger" (1999) ISBN 0-06-019289-5
#"The Wailing Wind" (2002) ISBN 0-06-019444-8
#"The Sinister Pig" (2003) ISBN 0-06-019443-X
#"Skeleton Man" (2004) ISBN 0-06-056344-3
#"The Shape Shifter" (2006) ISBN 978-0-06-056345-5

Three-In-One Volumes

*"The Joe Leaphorn Mysteries: Three Classic Hillerman Mysteries Featuring Lt. Joe Leaphorn: The Blessing Way, Dance Hall of the Dead, Listening Woman" (1989) ISBN 0-06-016174-4

*"The Jim Chee Mysteries: Three Classic Hillerman Mysteries Featuring Officer Jim Chee: People of Darkness, The Dark Wind, The Ghostway" (1990) ISBN 0-06-016478-6 The first appearance of Jim Chee in the Leaphorn-Chee series is in People of Darkness. In these three books, Joe Leaphorn is only briefly mentioned once, as "Captain Leaphorn at the Chinle substation" (POD, ch. 6). In the later books, where he is again prominent along with Jim Chee, he is "Lieutenant Leaphorn."

*"Tony Hillerman: Three Jim Chee Mysteries: People of Darkness, The Dark Wind, The Ghostway" (1993) ISBN 0517092816

*"Leaphorn & Chee: Three Classic Mysteries Featuring Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee : Skinwalkers, A Thief of Time, Talking God" (1992) ISBN 0-06-016909-5

*"Leaphorn & Chee: Three Classic Mysteries Featuring Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee: Skinwalkers, A Thief of Time, Talking God" (2001) ISBN 0-06-018789-1

*"Tony Hillerman: The Leaphorn & Chee Novels: Skinwalkers, A Thief of Time, Coyote Waits" (2005) ISBN 0-06-075338-2

*"Tony Hillerman: Leaphorn, Chee, and More: The Fallen Man, The First Eagle, Hunting Badger" (2005) ISBN 0-06-082078-0

Common Themes of Leaphorn and Chee books

There are a number of themes and elements common to many or all of Hillerman's Navajo mysteries. Many of them focus on the different attitudes that Leaphorn and Chee take towards Navajo religion. Leaphorn is somewhat skeptical of tradition, although he takes seriously reports of witchcraft. He does not believe in witches, but following a murder-suicide early in his career in which a man killed three people he believed to be skinwalkers, Leaphorn believes that belief in witches can be a problem. Chee takes a more traditional Navajo worldview, believing in the power of traditional singers and other rituals; however, he has come to take a more figurative or symbolic view of "chindi", Navajo ghosts.

In many novels, Leaphorn and/or Chee investigate reports of witchcraft or other supernatural events, often while at the same time investigating seemingly unrelated crimes of a more ordinary sort. In many cases, the two are related, the supernatural events being staged as a way to cover up the other crimes.

Many novels also explore the interaction of traditional Navajo culture with the "belagaana", or white man; Chee, especially, sees this assimilation as destroying Navajo culture and making it difficult for many to fit into either world. In particular, several characters are "Relocation Navajos", raised in Los Angeles after a government program relocated them in the 1930s.

In addition to "white" versus "Navajo" culture, Hillerman often explores differences in social status in white society. For example, many wealthy antagonists feel that the status brought by their money allows them to do certain things that would be considered immoral. Some of the lower class antagonists feel jealousy, and a desire to be seen as equals. This may come from Hillerman's experiences growing up poor in rural Oklahoma, and viewing everyone equally until being exposed to the class system during his World War II service.

Following the Navajo tradition of giving names based on personal attributes, Hillerman often refers to unnamed characters by nicknames. For example, a man wearing gold-rimmed glasses is called "Goldrims" until he is given a name later in the book; a boy wearing a Superman sweatshirt, and the grandson of a man under investigation, is called "Supergrandson". A murder victim is referred to as "Pointed Shoes" even after the body is identified.

Other novels

*"The Fly on the Wall" (1971) ISBN 0-06-011897-0
*"Finding Moon" (1995) ISBN 0-06-017772-1
*"The Boy Who Made Dragonfly (for children)" (1972) ISBN 0-06-022312-X
*"Buster Mesquite's Cowboy Band (for children)" (1973) ISBN 0914001116

About Hillerman, non-fiction, by author

*"Seldom Disappointed: A Memoir" by Tony Hillerman (2001) ISBN 0-06-019445-6
*"The Great Taos Bank Robbery" (1973) ISBN 0-8263-0306-4
*"The Spell of New Mexico" (1976) ISBN 0-8263-0420-6
*"Indian Country" (1987) ISBN 0-87358-432-5
*"Talking Mysteries (with Ernie Bulow)" (1991) ISBN 0-8263-1279-9
*"The Tony Hillerman Companion: A Comprehensive Guide to His Life and Work" by Hillerman, Martin Greenberg (1994) ISBN 0-06-017034-4
*"The Oxford book of American Detective Stories" (1996) ISBN 0-19-508581-7
*"Canyon De Chelly" (1998) ISBN 1893205258
*"Best American Mysteries of the Century" (2000) ISBN 0-618-06757-4
*"Best of the Western anthology of classic writing from the America West" (1991) ISBN 0-06-016664-9
*"New Omnibus of Crime" (2005) ISBN 0195182146
*"The Mysterious West" (1995) ISBN 0-06-017785-3

About Hillerman, non-fiction, by others

*"Tony Hillerman's Navajoland: Hideouts, Haunts and Havens in the Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee Mysteries" by Laurance D. Linford, Tony Hillerman (2001) ISBN 0-87480-698-4
*"Tony Hillerman's Indian Country Map & Guide, first edition by Time Traveler Maps" by Tony Hillerman (1998) ISBN 1-892040-01-8
*"Tony Hillerman's Indian Country Map & Guide, second edition by Time Traveler Maps" by Tony Hillerman (2003) ISBN 1-892040-10-7
*"The Ethnic Detective" by Peter Freese - including a detailed analysis of "Listening Woman"

Books of Photos

*"Kilroy Was There" (2004) ISBN 0873388070
*"Hillerman Country" (1991) ISBN 0-06-016400-X
*"Indian Country: America's Sacred Land" Bela Kalman (text by Hillerman) (1987) ISBN 0873584325
*"Rio Grande" Robert Reynolds (text by Hillerman) (1975) ISBN 0-912856-18-1
*"New Mexico" Photography by David Muench (text by Hillerman) (1975) ISBN 0-912856-14-9

Filmography

*"The Dark Wind" (1991)
*"Skinwalkers" (2002)
*"" (2004)
*""
*""

ee also

*

References

External links

* [http://www.umsl.edu/~smueller/awards.htm list of fiction awards]
* [http://www.umsl.edu/~smueller/ Unofficial homepage]
* [http://wiredforbooks.org/tonyhillerman/ 1988 audio interview of Tony Hillerman at Wired for Books.org] by Don Swaim


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