Sunlit Water

October 27, 2008

May He Rest In Beauty

Filed under: Culture — by teofilo @ 9:53 pm

I’ve only read a few of Tony Hillerman‘s books, and I definitely noticed that, as is the case with many prolific authors, the quality of his books began to decline a bit late in his career, but I would still say he was an extraordinarily gifted writer, with a rare talent for evoking the feel of places with mere words.  I’m generally wary of reading about things and places I’m already personally familiar with, because there are so often inaccuracies and misunderstandings that cloud any enjoyment I might get out of the prose, but I never had any problem with Hillerman’s books.  He got everything right, from the complex cultural issues and problems to the surpassing beauty and awe-inspiring majesty of the landscape.  Given the constraints of his genre, his talent for accuracy and authenticity was remarkable.  He did a better job than anyone else I know of in reflecting the ambiguities and complications of modern Navajo life, and the prose in which he did it was (and remains) simply gorgeous.  He will be missed.

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