Tony Hillerman: A Critical Companion

Overview

Edgar Award-winning writer Tony Hillerman has earned a reputation as a Grand Master of the popular mystery. This is the first full-length examination of his work. One of the most successful contemporary American writers, Hillerman has made his stories of Native American detectives instrumental in understanding modern American life. Through the creation of his Navajo detective characters, Hillerman has given new vigor to the popular genre of mystery fiction with his treatment of the problems of order and identity ...

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Tony Hillerman: A Critical Companion

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Overview

Edgar Award-winning writer Tony Hillerman has earned a reputation as a Grand Master of the popular mystery. This is the first full-length examination of his work. One of the most successful contemporary American writers, Hillerman has made his stories of Native American detectives instrumental in understanding modern American life. Through the creation of his Navajo detective characters, Hillerman has given new vigor to the popular genre of mystery fiction with his treatment of the problems of order and identity in modern society. This study examines each of his 13 novels in turn and includes a biographical chapter and a chapter on his innovations in the genre of detective fiction.

This careful study of the narrative techniques and thematic investigations of Hillerman's detective fiction illuminates the way he has crafted a new and profound method for understanding the conditions of modern life. A biographical chapter traces the influence of his life on his writing. Individual chapters on his novels are divided into sections on setting, plot, generic conventions, character development, and themes. In addition, Reilly offers alternate approaches—such as feminist criticism or post-colonialism—from which to read the novel, which gives the reader another perspective on the fiction. This study discusses all of Hillerman's novels: The Blessing Way, The Fly on The Wall, Dance Hall of the Dead, People of Darkness, The Dark Wind, Listening Woman, The Ghostway, Skinwalkers, A Thief of Time, Talking God, Coyote Waits, Sacred Clowns, and Finding Moon. A complete bibliography of Hillerman's work, critical and biographical sources, and a list of reviews of each of his novels completes the work. Because Hillerman is considered a serious writer of popular detective fiction and has a wide following of adult and young readers, this work is an essential purchase by public and secondary school libraries, as well as college and university libraries.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Studies the narrative techniques and thematic investigations of Hillerman's detective fiction. Individual chapters on his 13 novels are divided into sections on setting, plot, generic conventions, character development, and themes. In addition, the author offers alternative approaches<-->such as feminist criticism and post- colonialism<--> and a biographical chapter tracing the influence of his life on his writing. A bibliography of Hillerman's work, critical and biographical sources, and a list of reviews of each of his novels completes the work. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

JOHN M. REILLY won the Edgar Allan Poe award from the Mystery Writers of America for his reference work Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers (1980).

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword by Kathleen Gregory Klein

The Life of Tony Hillerman

Tony Hillerman and the Detective Ficton Genre

The Blessing Way (1970), The Debut of Joe Leaphorn, Navajo Detective

The Fly on the Wall (1971), A Journalistic Procedural

Dance Hall of the Dead (1973), The "Edgar" Prize Novel

People of Darkness (1980), Introducing Jim Chee

The Dark Wind (1982), Development from Story to Novel

Listening Woman (1978) and The Ghostway (1984), The Final Solos of Leaphorn and Chee

Skinwalkers (1986), Breakthrough by the Team of Leaphorn and Chee

A Thief of Time (1988), The Author's Favorite

Talking God (1989) and Coyote Waits (1990), The Series Continues

Sacred Clowns (1993), The Complete Police Procedural

Finding Moon (1995), The Mystery of Character

Bibliography

Index

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