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The Red Tent A Novel

Anita Diamant

Picador

0312427298

9780312427290

Trade Paperback

352 Pages

$16.00

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Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood—the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers—Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah—the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women's society.

REVIEWS

Praise for The Red Tent

"Diamant vividly conjures up the ancient world of caravans, shepherds, farmers, midwives, slaves, and artisans . . . her Dinah is a compelling narrator that has timeless resonance."—Merle Rubin, The Christian Science Monitor

"An intense, vivid novel . . . It is tempting to say that The Red Tent is what the Bible would be like if it had been written by women, but only Diamant could have given it such sweep and grace."—The Boston Globe

"The best fiction reporters create a world and bathe us in its sounds and sights, its language and climate, the intricate relationships among its inhabitants. Anita Diamant has performed this wondrous craft: She has brought forth one of those books that appear effortless precisely because the writer has pondered even the length of breath between each character's words . . . This earthy, passionate tale, told also with great delicacy, is, quite simply, a great read."—Jane Redmont, National Catholic Reporter

"By giving a voice to Dinah, one of the silent female characters in Genesis, the novel has struck a chord with women who may have felt left out of biblical history. It celebrates mothers and daughters and the mysteries of the life cycle."—Los Angeles Times

"A richly imagined world . . . Paints a vivid picture of what women's society might have resembled during biblical times. Although it is a novel, it is also an extended midrash or exegesis—filling in gaps left by the biblical text."—Jewish Times

"[A] vivid evocation of the world of Old Testament women . . . The red tent becomes a symbol of womanly strength, love, and wisdom . . . Diamant succeeds admirably in depicting the lives of women in the age that engendered our civilization and our most enduring values."—Publishers Weekly

"The oldest story of all could never seem more original, more true."—James Carroll, author of An American Requiem

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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THE RED TENT (Chapter 1)

Their stories began with the day that my father appeared. Rachel came running into camp, knees flying, bellowing like a calf separated from its mother. But before anyone could scold her for acting like a wild boy, she launched into a breathless yarn about a stranger at the well, her words spilling out like water into sand.

A wild man without sandals. Matted hair. Dirty face. He kissed her on the mouth, a cousin, son of their aunt, who had watered sheep and goats for her and told off the ruffians at the well.

"What are you babbling?" demanded her father, L

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  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant--Audiobook Excerpt

    Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Anita Diamant's bestselling novel The Red Tent. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable contribution to modern fiction: a new perspective on female life in biblical society. It is a vast and stirring work--what the Bible might have been had it been written by God's daughters instead of sons.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Anita Diamant

  • Anita Diamant is an award-winning journalist and author of five books about contemporary Jewish life including The New Jewish Wedding and Choosing a Jewish Life: Guidebook for People Converting to Judaism and for their Family and Friends. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with her husband and daughter.
  • Anita Diamant Marion Ettlinger
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