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May 16 , 2009

The Boy Who Made Dragonfly

A Zuni Myth Retold by Tony Hillerman


As readers of Tony Hillerman's detective novels know, he is a skilled interpreter of southwestern Indian cultures. In this book, first published in 1972, he recounts a Zuni myth first recorded a century ago by the anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing. Hillerman's version of the story, written to be read by children ten years old and up, will have equal appeal for adults with an interest in Native American culture.

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Tony Hillerman's bestselling Navajo mysteries have thrilled millions of readers with their taut, intricate plotting, sensitive, subtle characterizations and lyrical evocations of landscapes and cultures. Now he departs his trademark terrain and applies his talents to a story he has wanted to tell for decades about an ordinary man thrust into total…

"In our society," Hillerman explains, "this would be called a 'Bible story.' Like stories based on the Old Testament, this narrative is intended to teach both the history and morality of a people." It tells the consequences of a drought in which Zuni crops were ruined and the tribe was forced to accept charity from neighboring Hopis.

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