Seldom Disappointed

Version: Unabridged
Author: Tony Hillerman
Narrator: Tony Hillerman
Genres: Biography & Memoir, Non-Fiction
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published In: August 2005
# of Units: 10 CDs
Length: 12 hours
Ratings:
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Overview

When Tony Hillerman looks back at seventy-six years spent getting from hard-times farm boy to bestselling author, he sees lots of evidence that Providence was poking him along. For example, when an absent-minded Army clerk left him off the hospital ship taking the wounded home from France in World War II, the mishap put him on a collision course with a curing ceremony held for two Navajo Marines, thereby providing the grist for a writing career that now sees his books published in sixteen languages around the world and often on bestseller lists.In this wry and whimsical memoir, Hillerman offers frequent backward glances at where he found ideas for the plots of his books and the characters that inhabit them. We get a good-natured trip through hard times in college, an infantry career in which he "rose twice to Private First Class" and also won a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart and, afterward, work as truck driver, chain dragger, journalist, professor, and "doer of undignified deeds" for two university presidents. All this is colored by his love affair (now in its fifty-fourth year) with Marie, which involved raising six children, most of them adopted.

Author Details

Author Details

Hillerman, Tony

"Tony Hillerman was born in Sacred Heart, OK on May 27, 1925. He was the youngest of three children, having an older brother and sister. His father, August A. Hillerman, was a storekeeper and farmer. His mother was Lucy Grove Hillerman.

He attended school from 1930-38 at St. Mary's Academy, a boarding school for Native American girls at Sacred Heart. He was one of several farm boys enrolled there. Sacred Heart was near a Benedictine mission to the Citizen Band Potowatomie Tribe. For high school, he was bused to Konawa High School. He graduated in 1942. He returned to farming after a brief sojourn to college and after his father's death.

In 1943, he joined the U. S. Army, serving in combat in World War II. He was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Purple Heart after being wounded in 1945. (These injuries included broken legs, foot, ankle, facial burns, and temporary blindness.) He was discharged in 1945.

After the war, he attended the University of Oklahoma, receiving a B. A. in 1948.

He married Marie Unzner in 1948, to whom he is still married. They have six grown children.

From 1948-1962, he worked in a variety of journalist positions. He was a reporter for the Borger News Herald in Borger, TX (1948), city editor for the Morning Press-Constitution in Lawton, OK (1948-50), political reporter for UPI in Oklahoma City (1950-52), UPI bureau manager in Santa Fe, NM (1952-4), political reporter and then, editor for the Santa Fe New Mexican (1954-63).

In 1963, he returned to graduate school in English at the University of New Mexico. He was an assistant to the University president at the same time. He joined the journalism faculty of UNM in 1966 after receiving his M.A. He taught there until 1987, serving as department chair from 1976-81.

Although he says he feels great for the shape he's in, his health has been a concern. He told PBS in 1996, "" I am 71, have now-and-then rhematic arthritis but now very badly, have in-remission cancer, have had a minor heart attack, have one mediocre eye, one tricky ankle and two unreliable knees due to being blown up in WWII. ""

His memoirs were published in October, 2001. It won the Agatha Award for Best Non-Fiction.

He resides in Albuquerque, NM."