Archive for Navajo

Dance Hall of the Dead

Posted in Books with tags , , on October 28, 2008 by xi'an

Tony Hillerman, author of a series of detective novels centered at the Navajo nation, died on Sunday. The series is made of 18 novels that feature Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee from the Navajo Tribal Police and that give more insights in the Navajo culture than in police work. The set is to be read chronologically as the life and love story of the two main characters unfold along the way. One of my close friends finds the books too “New Age” but I think this truly reflects on the highly metaphysical Navajo perception of the World as well as the fragile preservation of this culture against exterior and devastating influences. While not all of the novels are of the same quality, the later ones being too centered on the main characters and somehow unrealistic in their conclusion, the early ones are truly terrific and I believe “A Thief of Time” to be Hillerman’s masterpiece.