Talking Mysteries: A Conversation with Tony Hillerman

Overview

In Talking Mysteries, Tony Hillerman discusses his craft, including his approach to plot, characterization, and setting, and the wrinkles and twists that make his brand of fiction unique. These and other insights into how he writes emerge in an extended interview with his long-time friend and fellow author Ernie Bulow. An autobiographical piece by Hillerman details his early years in Oklahoma, first encounters with Navajo culture, and his eventual life as journalist and author.

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Overview

In Talking Mysteries, Tony Hillerman discusses his craft, including his approach to plot, characterization, and setting, and the wrinkles and twists that make his brand of fiction unique. These and other insights into how he writes emerge in an extended interview with his long-time friend and fellow author Ernie Bulow. An autobiographical piece by Hillerman details his early years in Oklahoma, first encounters with Navajo culture, and his eventual life as journalist and author.

Navajo artist Ernest Franklin created twelve sketches of Hillerman characters for this book. Hillerman credits Franklin with "showing me what Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn look like." As an additional treat, a Jim Chee mini-mystery, "The Witch, Yazzie, and the Nine of Clubs," originally published in 1981 and long unavailable, is included.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Originally self-published in somewhat different form as Words, Weather, and Wolfmen (1989), Talking Mysteries: A Conversation with Tony Hillerman, by Tony Hillerman and Ernie Bulow, will delight all fans of the creator of Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn. A map of Hillerman country, illustrations by Ernest Franklin and a series of photos of Hillerman at work (or is he just playing solitaire?) lend visual appeal. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Booknews
Hillerman (Skinwalkers, Talking God . . .) reflects on the craft of mystery writing, his approach to plot, characterization, setting, and his unique style. Includes a mini-mystery published in 1981 and long unavailable. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826335111
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 139
  • Sales rank: 1,055,068
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Tony Hillerman

Tony Hillerman (1925-2008), an Edgar Award-winning novelist, was best known for the Jim Chee Mystery series, which earned him the Navajo people's appreciation as "special friend to the Dineh." A former reporter and newspaper editor, Hillerman was a member of the journalism faculty at the University of New Mexico from 1965-1987. He served as chairman of the journalism department from 1966-1974.

Ernie Bulow, author of Navajo Taboos, lives in Gallup, New Mexico.

Biography

Tony Hillerman (1925-2008), an Albuquerque, New Mexico, resident since 1963, was the author of 29 books, including the popular 17-mystery series featuring Navajo police officers Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, two non-series novels, two children's books, and nonfiction works. He had received every major honor for mystery fiction; awards ranging from the Navajo Tribal Council's commendation to France's esteemed Grand prix de litterature policiere. Western Writers of America honored him with the Wister Award for Lifetime achievement in 2008. He served as president of the prestigious Mystery Writers of America, and was honored with that group's Edgar Award and as one of mystery fiction's Grand Masters. In 2001, his memoir, Seldom Disappointed, won both the Anthony and Agatha Awards for best nonfiction.

Author biography courtesy of HarperCollins.

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    1. Hometown:
      Albuquerque, New Mexico
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 27, 1925
    2. Place of Birth:
      Sacred Heart, Oklahoma
    1. Date of Death:
      October 26, 2008
    2. Place of Death:
      Albuquerque, New Mexico

Table of Contents

Map: Hillerman's Territory 8
Introduction 11
Mystery, Country Boys, and the Big Reservation 23
A Conversation with Tony Hillerman 45
The Witch, Yazzie, and the Nine of Clubs 93
Biographies 111
Drawings 124
Afterword 137
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