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They Dragged Them through the Streets: A Novel Paperback – March 12, 2013

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Editorial Reviews


“Does a nation care for what it does? Usually, it doesn’t. But we need to be reminded of our reality largely filled with wars. And we wait. And this novel does it. I read it as if in one breath, grateful on behalf of the millions who could identify with it. It took a woman with a conscience who’s also a ‘woman of words’ such as Hilary Plum to create a bunch of people scarred by the war (in Iraq), to speak on behalf of the living and of the dead, as Literature must. She does more than combat silence, she conveys the sense that each of us is history (even if a history of lies), that we are American history. And her novel makes it clear that the great American silence is at the root of the great American melancholy.”—Etel Adnan, Master of the Eclipse

“In the cool and graceful prose of They Dragged Them Through the Streets,Hilary Plum traces the fault lines of paradox and contradiction her cast of young activists are driven by as they attempt to make sense of and respond to the official violence of the era. This courageous novel addresses the anxieties of our age.”—Stanley Crawford, Petroleum Man: A Novel

"Hilary Plum’s debut novel delves into our private and public sorrows with wrenching grace. This is a book of enormous compassion, meticulous beauty. Plum grapples with the devastation of war and environmental degradation, with suicide and madness, the tenacity and delicacy of friendship. The novel offers no easy redemption—her people blunder around in the dark. They are impulsive, admirable, failing, often paralyzed. And yet they love, Plum insists, and they prevail."--Noy Holland, author of Swim for the Little One First

About the Author

Hilary Plum is from New England and now lives in central Pennsylvania. This is her first novel.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Fiction Collective 2; 1st Edition edition (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573661724
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573661720
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Sue M. on January 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this story and I loved reading this book. It’s a treat to experience both. Plum takes us into the lives of five friends who are struggling to manage their feelings of outrage for the Iraq war. It’s a fresh story line and I found the characters to be compelling and three dimensional. Through Plum’s gracious writing, a picture develops of each friend’s connection to one another and the war. And like a painter using the pointillism technique, Plum gives only dabs of information here and there and makes readers connect the dots. This approach could be annoying or cloying in the hands of a less talented writer. Plum, however, is masterful and the net effect is rewarding and astonishing. I won’t reveal plot details, but wait until you get to the end! I was floored. I highly recommend this book.
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