- Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; Reissue edition (November 25, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250067995
- ISBN-13: 978-1250067999
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3,064 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Red Tent - 20th Anniversary Edition: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – November 25, 2014
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“The wives of Jacob gather in the red tent, and in that image Anita Diamant has found the heart of a pulsing and moving novel. The tent is red because of the falling sun, and because of the flowing blood. The tent is, as the narrator says, 'an earthbound rainbow,' which is also true of this novel. Dinah, famously a daughter and a sister, finally tells her own story-and the story of that unknown legion, God's women. When the light is refracted through their experience-and through the lens of Anita Diamant's moral imagination-the colors couldn't be more vivid, and the oldest story of all could never seem more original, or more true.” ―James Carroll, author of An American Requiem
About the Author
ANITA DIAMANT is the bestselling author of the novels The Red Tent, Good Harbor, and The Last Days of Dogtown, as well as the collection of essays, Pitching My Tent. An award-winning journalist whose work has appeared regularly in The Boston Globe Magazine and Parenting, she is the author of six nonfiction guides to contemporary Jewish life. She lives in Massachusetts. Her most recent novels include Day After Night.
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Many thoughtful reviews have already been posted. I will affirm that it was wonderful to read this story, told from the point of view of the women. In those times, women were treated as chattel and the only power they had was that of producing sons. They claimed that power, and it was fascinating. I also liked the portrayal of the community of women and what they brought to the family economy, I hope that part is "true."
I love the historical fiction quality of the book. The alternative perspectives from Biblical literalism is a relief. The alternate perspective on Dinah's "rape" is worthy of contemplation. In today's world, there are "honor killings" that sometimes occur when women have sex outside of marriage, whether it's consensual or rape. We have a modern context for seeing women who don't have self determination, whose marriages are arranged, or consent still only comes with a price. It's not that hard to see the possibility of an alternate reality for Dinah. It certainly makes for a great story. I am fascinated by the tensions and textures created by the encounters with people of differing beliefs, the women practicing the old ways, those who don't, the paganism, those following the God of Abraham, and then the Egyptians. It is interesting to follow how those beliefs color their lives and how they interact with people of differing beliefs. One can also experience that in the reviews here on Amazon!
I do not find the story anti-male or anti-Bible. When one recalls that men had all the power, then tragic use of power is on the men. But other aspects of power appear in the encounters between the shepherd and the king, and Dinah amongst the Egyptians, etc. The tensions of religion and culture and social position within the tribe and beyond are part of the story.
I've tried to write without spoilers. It's a great book. One can be a person of faith without being insulted by a single syllable in this book. Criticisms from 2000 are interesting, but I think that time is on the side of deep appreciation for The Red Tent.
I did find it a bit long-winded in places and switched to speed-reading whereas I normally like to "savor" the literature that I read.
I still enjoyed the book and have recommended it to my book club