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Former forensic photographer confronts Navajo taboos about death in debut novel

By Mark Brodie
Published: Monday, October 30, 2023 - 11:24am

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Author photo of Ramona Emerson next to “Shutter” book cover
Soho Crime, Ungelbah Dávila-Shivers
Ramona Emerson, author of “Shutter”

There’s an old adage for writers: write what you know. For her debut novel, author Ramona Emerson drew on an earlier career as a forensic videographer and photographer.

In “Shutter,” the main character, Rita, has that same job with one significant difference: she sees the ghosts of crime victims.

Emerson lives in Albuquerque and is also Diné. Her culture, and that of her main character, also play a major role in the book.

Emerson spoke with The Show about how much Rita is based on her earlier career and more.

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