When Tony Hillerman looks back at seventy-six years spent getting from hard-times farm boy to bestselling author, he sees lots of evidence that Providence was poking him along. For example, when an absent-minded Army clerk left him off the hospital ship taking the wounded home from France in World War II, the mishap put him on a collision course with a curing ceremony held for two Navajo Marines, thereby providing the grist for a writing career that now sees his books published in sixteen languages around the world and often on bestseller lists.
In this wry and whimsical memoir, Hillerman offers frequent backward glances at where he found ideas for the plots of his books and the characters that inhabit them. We get a good-natured trip through hard times in college, an infantry career in which he "rose twice to Private First Class" and also won a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart and, afterward, work as truck driver, chain dragger, journalist, professor, and "doer of undignified deeds" for two university presidents. All this is colored by his love affair (now in its fifty-fourth year) with Marie, which involved raising six children, most of them adopted.
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Tony Hillerman (1925–2008), an Albuquerque, New Mexico, resident since 1963, was the author of 29 books, including the popular 18-book 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.From AudioFile:
What a privilege to have one of the most popular American novelists read us his memoirs while offering a look into the sources from which characters such as Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee emerged. Tony Hillerman reads without haste, allowing us lots of time to savor memories we may not share with him, but feelings we do. His warm and avuncular voice gives just the right delivery to his subtle humor and reveals a side of his personality not found in his mystery novels. No anecdote is better than that of the first book agent, who told him, "Fine, but leave out the Indian stuff." Although this is highly recommended as a family book, young readers will underestimate the valuable wisdom being imparted. J.A.H. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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