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Writing the Southwest: Interview with Tony Hillerman

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Best-selling mystery writer Tony Hillerman  brought the landscape of the Southwest and the Navajo culture into mainstream America's reading. His childhood, in which he grew up with Indian peoples, led to a fascination with Native American cultures and prompted him to spend time on the remote reservations of Arizona and New Mexico.

His is a world of seasons and magic, of curing ceremonies, and ancient cultures, often on a collision course with the white world. The relationship of the Indians with the harshly beautiful high desert country is an underlying force in Hillerman's novels. He uses his fiction to explore the turbulent crosscurrents that occur when ancient Native cultures, traditional Hispanic worlds, and the dominant Anglo Society collide. Tony Hillerman passed away in October of 2008.