where he was struck by the car, he wasnan outpatient at the hospital and undergoingntherapy for the wrist he hadnslashed some months before. Thenpassengers in the car said that Jarrellnhad “turned” or “lunged” toward it.nPritchard poses all of the possible questionsnabout what might or might notnhave been on Jarrell’s mind that darknnight and responsibly concludes thatnwe simply cannot know. Nor could thendoctor conducting the autopsy, whonruled with the coroner that “it was annaccidental death, ‘reasonable doubtnabout its being a suicide’ being presentnin their minds.”nSomehow, accident or suicide, thenevent was not surprising to me, as if thenpoems said in their way that the mannwho composed them expected not tondie in his bed at a great old age. MarynJarrell has always insisted that it was annaccident. Yet Randall’s friends Peternand Eleanor Taylor and Robert Lowellnfelt that the death was a suicide. Certainnit is that Jarrell knew what he hadnbeen, saw what he was. And he alwaysnknew — as the poem “The Marchen”nmakes clear—that disaster for Hanselnlay in not learning how “to change, tonchange.”nJames W. Tuttleton is a professor ofnEnglish at New York University.nHonest Wordsnby Chilton Williamson, Jr.nCoyote Waitsnby Tony HillermannNew York: Harper & Row;n304 pp., $19.95nIt may be an embarrassing admissionnfor somebody who has been a booknreview editor for the last 14 and a halfnyears, but the truth is I had never heardnof Tony Hillerman until May 1989,nwhen I began traveling in the Southwestnin connection with a book-writingnproject I am working on and the wife ofna friend of mine in Ignacio, New Mexico,nasked casually if I had read any ofnHillerman’s books. These she describednas detective novels set on and aroundnthe Navajo Indian Reservation, andnsince I had already spent time wanderingnon “the Res” (as it is known locally)n44/CHRONICLESnand planned to spend more time, I keptnan eye open for Hillerman’s work andnbought a couple of paperback volumesnwhen I came across them. In the subsequentn14 months I have read eight ofnhis eleven novels for adults (a twelfth isnfor children) and am on the lookout fornthe other three. He has several morenunder contract, and when Harper &nRow publishes them I am going to readnthose, too. This makes Tony Hillermannthe third detective novelist, after ConannDoyle and Raymond Chandler, whomnI have any interest in reading at all.nW~^nYet Hillerman is no Chandler. “Intellectuals”n(“innerieckshuls,” FlannerynO’Connor called them) love Chandler,nbut I doubt if they number very manynof Hillerman’s fans, though I may benmistaken in that. Tony Hillerman is not,neven in the best sense of the term, anliterary novelist. He is neither a poet norna stylist. He is not a novelist of ideas, ornof attitudes. He lacks that quality ofn”magic” that Chandler (quite modestly)nrecognized in his own work, as well asnthe “charm” Chandler found in F.nScott Fitzgerald’s (“a kind of subduednmagic, controlled and exquisite, the sortnof thing you get from good stringnquartettes”). He exhibits, typically, a tinnear for human speech, and those of hisncharacters (in particular his two mutuallynoffsetting protagonists. Tribal PolicenOfKcer Jim Chee and Lieutenant JoenLeaphorn) who reappear from onenbook to the next do not really develop asnhuman beings at all. His “plots” are notnalways satisfactory, being grounded oftennin unconvincing human motives —nalthough they are neariy always betternresolved than Raymond Chandler’s.nBut: Hillerman is a compelling storyteller,nskilled in the oldest and mostnfundamental of the arts, and as anstoryteller he has the most basic kind ofnintegrity. There is nothing either cheapnor dishonest—ever — in Tony Hillerman’snwork. He never (deliberately)nnnfudges, and he does not pander at all;nand while he has been accused ofnportraying Navajo culture and contemporarynlife in somewhat idealizednterms, “the Res” is the indispensablenomnipresent grounding of all his fictionnas much as Southern California isnof Chandler’s, though not with thensame poetic intensity.nActually, Coyote Waits showsnmarked literary advancement in manynrespects over its predecessors (althoughnmy favorite Hillerman book to date isnstill People of Darkness, a clever, inventive,nand lovely novel), a sign that itsnauthor is finding out his own weaknessesnand working upon them. The dialogue,nfor one thing, is much moreneasy and natural in Coyote than in thenearlier books, Hillerman having —nalmost — divested himself of irritatingnlinguistic ticks. (Hillerman charactersnare inordinately fond of concludingntheir sentences with the phrase, recognizablenby all Hillerman readers, “thatnsort of thing.”) Coyote Waits, in fact,ncomes much closer to qualifying as an”literary novel” — I know, I know:nsupply your own definition — thannanything he has previously written.nHillerman still needs to move his charactersnoff their identifying stases (Leaphorn’snlove for his dead wife, Chee’snlove for the Navajo lawyer Janet Petenthat is apparently as eternal and unavailingnas if Pete and Chee werenfigures on a Grecian urn, the whitentrader McCinnis’ patient alcoholism,nand so on). But Hillerman may benlearning now as fast as he writes, andnhe writes very fast. In addition to then12 fiction tides are five nonfictionnbooks to his credit, and Hillerman — anformer newspaper editor — did not beginnwriting books full-time until he wasninto his 40’s.nThe action of Coyote Waits occurs,nas it does in many of Hillerman’snbooks, in the fall — apparently a seasonnas special to Tony Hillerman as twilightnwas a special time for William Faulkner.nIt is a good season for the settingnof a Western novel, and a Southwesternnnovel in particular. It is a seasonnalways of waiting, of anticipation, ofnsharpness in the air, and of mystery.nAnd that is all that I am going to tellnyou now about the story Coyote Waits.nChilton Williamson, Jr.’s latest booknis The Homestead, a novel.n