News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Monday, October 27, 2008

A true voice is silenced

Tony Hillerman, 83, died yesterday.

A journalist turned fiction writer, Tony Hillerman wrote mystery novels featuring Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, Navajo policemen, who never lost their sense of place or the vital drive for intellectual and spiritual sustenance that builds a sustainable culture. He took a genre much beset with hackery and feebleness of mind and literary sensibility and gave it a place among the finest works of American literature.

I keep prowling the bookstores looking for a new Hillerman book. That prowling is at an end, but the regard for a true and respectful voice will never die.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States