And the Dogs Were Silent (Autographed Paperback)


And the Dogs Were Silent (Autographed Paperback)


"Bold and ravishing, this memoir opens the mind even as it rouses the senses. In this journey into a precarious world, we learn what it means to be denigrated or excluded, whether dog or human." --Colin Dayan, author of The Law is a White Dog: How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake Persons and With Dogs at the Edge of Life, is the Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University.

Jere Alexander couldn't have foreseen that she would find herself embedded in the illegal underground world of professional dogfighting when she began her research on human-animal relationships in graduate school. Follow her harrowing journey from student to "dogwoman" to director of one of the largest animal shelters in the United States, a position that would lead to a battle against public hate and persecution.

This is the diary of one dog-lover's nightmare.

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Interview with the Author

Q:  Is this really a true story?

A: Yes--all the events I describe in this book are absolutely true!  Even though it began with research I did in graduate school, it's a true crime book that involves organized crime and conspiracy on both sides of the law.  There are verbatim quotes, letters, and interviews interspersed throughout the book.  I had to change some details to preserve confidentiality, but I tried to keep that to a minimum.

That being said, it's also a personal memoir that includes my own thoughts and ideas as things were happening, which were all true for me!

Q:  What made you decide to publish this book, and why now?

A: I started my research with a strong interest in animal welfare, but as an aspiring anthropologist I also needed to understand violence in society from the inside.  I found discrimination and disparities not only among dog breeds, but white working class people in rural settings.  I hope sharing my experiences so candidly helps create dialogue about social class and race relations in America as well as human-animal relationships.

And why now--the news media and laws around dogfighting were quite volatile when these events took place. I felt like I had to wait until publishing wouldn't put anyone at risk.

Q:  Why did you use the diary format?

A: It was my diary, but it became a sort of collage since I was collecting research materials throughout.  The raw and uncut form allows different perspectives to be juxtaposed, and readers can draw their own conclusions.  This form gives the book a loose narrative, but you never know what will happen next.

Q:  What sorts of readers would enjoy this book?

A:  Anyone interested in animals, dogs, and pit bulls, and also:

  • dog breeds, animal essays, and animal stories for adults

  • true crime, organized crime, and conspiracy

  • biographies and memoirs of criminals and outlaws

  • women crime writers

  • cultural anthropology, rural America, and folklore of the U.S. South

  • Southern gothic and noir styles


Thanks for reading!