James McGrath Morris, Tony Hillerman: A Life
Date, Time & Location
About the Event
We will be taking COVID precautions and following all State rules, masks will be required for the duration of the program and seating will be spaced accordingly. Once registration is at maximum capacity, you will be waitlisted for any cancellations.
The book publishes on October 14. If you would like a signed book to be shipped, please order here. These will not ship until October 13 at the earliest.
Tony Hillerman: A Life
The author of eighteen spellbinding detective novels set on the Navajo Nation, Tony Hillerman simultaneously transformed a traditional genre and unlocked the mysteries of the Navajo culture to an audience of millions. His best- selling novels added Navajo Tribal Police detectives Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee to the pantheon of American fictional detectives.
Tony Hillerman: A Life offers a balanced portrait of Hillerman’s personal and professional life and provides a timely appreciation of his work. In intimate detail, the book captures the author’s early years in Depression-era Oklahoma; his near-death experience in World War II; his sixty-year marriage to Marie; his family life, including six children, five of them adopted; his work in the trenches of journalism; his affliction with PTSD and its connection to his enchantment with Navajo spirituality; and his ascension as one of America’s best-known author of mysteries. Further, the biography reveals the almost accidental invention of Hillerman’s iconic detective Joe Leaphorn and the circumstances that led to the addition of Jim Chee as his partner.
Hillerman’s novels were not without controversy. Hillerman examines the charges of cultural appropriation leveled at the author toward the end of his life. Yet, for many readers, including many Native Americans, Hillerman deserves critical acclaim for his knowledgeable and sensitive portrayal of Diné (Navajo) history, culture, and identity.
At the time of Hillerman’s death, more than 20 million copies of his books were in print, and his novels inspired Robert Redford to adapt several of them to film and now Redford, along with George R.R. Martin and director Chris Eyre, are making a new television series based on Hillerman’s books.
Filled with never-before-told anecdotes and fresh insights, Tony Hillerman will thrill the author’s fans and awaken new interest in his life and literary legacy.
"In this scrupulous work, James McGrath Morris artfully guides us into Tony Hillerman’s personal and literary worlds—and taps into the peculiar magic of this beloved novelist’s work." --- Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission
"James McGrath Morris’s Tony Hillerman is beautiful and fascinating biography". --- Douglas Preston, author of The Lost City of the Monkey God and the Agent Pendergast series
“James McGrath Morris’ Tony Hillerman: A Life is .... one of the most thoughtful, detailed, and captivating biographies I’ve read in a very long time.” - - - Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire Mysteries
About the Author
James McGrath Morris is a Santa Fe biographer and writer of narrative non-fiction. Aside from his last book The Ambulance Drivers: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and A Friendship Made and Lost in War, Morris’s books include the New York Times Bestselling Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, The First Lady of the Black Press, which was awarded the Benjamin Hooks National Book Prize; Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power—which the Wall Street Journal deemed was one of the five best books on American moguls and Booklist placed on its 2010 list of the ten best biographies; The Rose Man of Sing Sing: A True Tale of Life, Murder, and Redemption in the Age of Yellow Journalism—a Washington Post Best Book of the Year; and, Jailhouse Journalism: The Four Estate Behind Bars. He is the former president of Biographers International Organization, of which he was among the original founders. In 2019 he received the BIO Award, which is given to a writer who has made a major contribution to the advancement of the art and craft of biography. Previous winners, among others, include: Jean Strouse, Robert Caro, Arnold Rampersad, Ron Chernow, Stacy Schiff, Taylor Branch, and Candice Millard.
Anne Hillerman is an award-winning reporter and New York Times bestselling author. She continues the Navajo detective stories her father made popular. Her debut novel, Spider Woman’s Daughter, received the Spur Award and New Mexico-Arizona Book Award as book of the year. Anne's newest novel, Stargazer, which published in April, challenges Bernadette Manuelito with life-threatening danger.