The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Published by Picador – 10th edition copyright 1997
Available from Amazon for Kindle and paperback. Also available on Amazon by another author, Dr. Sandra Polaski, Inside the Red Tent, a study guide
Rated 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon and 4.13 out of 5 on Good Reads. I rated the book 5 stars.
Synopsis: 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. Told in Dinah’s voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhood–the world of the red tent.
First sentence: Their stories began with the day my father appeared.
The hard cover has 2 pages of lineage that would be helpful in following the story.
Diamant gives us a fresh look at Bible historical accounts and fills in the blanks. The women are given personalities and their stories encompass the context of societal mores of the time. I enjoy fiction books that expand the lives of people from the scriptures. The author, who usually writes non-fiction, delivers a book that gives vibrancy and human foibles to her characters. Diamant takes her basis of story from Genesis 34, the story of Dinah’s rape.
Diamant is quoted: “The Red Tent is not a translation but a work of fiction. Its perspective and focus—by and about the female characters—distinguishes it from the biblical account, in which women are usually peripheral and often totally silent. By giving Dinah a voice and by providing texture and content to the sketchy biblical descriptions, my book is a radical departure from the historical text.”