Tony Hillerman, prolific author of American Southwest fiction, died yesterday in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the age of 83. Known for his mysteries featuring characters from the Navajo Tribal Police, Hillerman called upon his extensive familiarity with American Indian life to give authenticity to his novels. The New York Times obituary today provides a very interesting profile of his life, including the fact that as a child he attended St. Mary's Academy, a school for Potawatomie Indian girls in Dust Bowl-ravaged Oklahoma. Hillerman maintained a lifelong and respectful relationship with Navajo communities, and he stated, "I think it's important to show that aspects of ancient Indian ways are still very much alive and are highly germane even to our ways." A beloved icon of American fiction, Tony Hillerman had many fans among the patrons at our library. If you would like to give his works a try, Bernardsville Public Library offers a large collection of Hillerman fiction in regular and large print as well as audiobooks on cd and cassette.