cover image Tony Hillerman's Landscape: On the Road with an American Legend

Tony Hillerman's Landscape: On the Road with an American Legend

Anne Hillerman / Author, Don Strel / Photographer Harper $28.9

Before his death in 2007, Tony Hillerman, one of America's best loved mystery writers, produced 18 novels grounded in the Native American cultures of the desert Southwest. The honest, unvarnished landscape of the Four Corners region of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado was essential to the plots and atmosphere of Hillerman's books; he knew and loved it well, and helped plan this illustrated travelogue before his passing. (An introduction and quotes from his memoir, Seldom Disappointed, acknowledge and ameliorate Tony Hillerman's absence.) Hillerman's daughter, Anne, and her husband, photographer Strel, document their journey using Hillerman's books (and memory) as a tour guide. Along with memories of family research trips in her childhood, Anne records her impressions of the vast Four Corners region, pairing a synopsis of each book with photos of landscapes, trading posts, archaeological sites, abandoned hogans (traditional Navajo houses), and people from the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni tribes. She also provides short discussions of historical events, ceremonies, mythology, and other topics germane to the novels. Though no photograph can fully capture the immensity of that Southwestern sky, many of Strel's come close. For Hillerman fans, this volume is a must-have.