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The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

The Red Tent

by Anita Diamant

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,722300186 (4.06)352
  1. 100
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (wosret, Kaelkivial)
    Kaelkivial: Both stories of strong women who resist (in one form or another) the system that holds them down. Both books fairly fast paced and gripping; acts of violence and loss scattered throughout.
  2. 40
    Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund (sweetbug)
    sweetbug: Both books take minor female characters from great works and create a larger story for them. The two books also deal with similar themes including women who challenge gender rolls and the relationships between mothers (or surrogate mothers) and daughters.
  3. 20
    Zipporah, Wife of Moses by Marek Halter (joririchardson)
  4. 20
    The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus by Margaret Atwood (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: The two novels convey the same idea of reclaiming the story of a marginal woman from a great male narrative, telling the story from a new, feminine perspective.
  5. 10
    Mary, Called Magdalene by Margaret George (meggyweg)
  6. 00
    The Cave Dreamers by Jeanne Williams (juniperSun)
    juniperSun: both have women passing on their spirituality/goddess knowledge secretly
  7. 00
    Wisdom's Daughter: A Novel of Solomon and Sheba by India Edghill (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Wisdom's Daughter and The Red Tent bring the Bible to life for modern readers through their historically detailed and emotional retelling of two stories of love and family honor. Additionally, both are viewed and interpreted through a women's perspective.… (more)
  8. 00
    The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani (elbakerone)
    elbakerone: Another beautifully written historical fiction with a focus around mother daughter relationships.
  9. 11
    I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots by Susan Straight (shesinplainview)
  10. 00
    The Garden of Ruth by Eva Etzioni-Halevy (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The Red Tent and The Garden of Ruth provide female-centered interpretations of Biblical stories. These books are full of political and familial drama, centered in the early ages of Judaism.
  11. 01
    In the Shadow of the Ark by Anne Provoost (joririchardson)
    joririchardson: Both books have a similar atmosphere and setting, and both are based on biblical events.
  12. 02
    The Gilded Chamber by Rebecca Kohn (themephi)
  13. 02
    Not the End of the World by Geraldine McCaughrean (SandSing7)

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» See also 352 mentions

English (297)  Danish (1)  All languages (298)
Showing 1-5 of 297 (next | show all)
LMIC 2005, couldn't finish ( )
  nancynova | Sep 12, 2015 |
This book provides a more complete imagining of the strange story of the offspring of Abraham and Sarah, and particularly of Jacob's family. It is presented from the perspective of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah. Its explanations feel realistic and suggest motivations for events such as first marrying Leah and then Rachel. The stories of the lesser wives, Zilpah and Bilhah, are also told. The female traditions are centered in the red tent, where women have their periods and their children. Multiple wives share the tent as they share their husband. By the end the main female characters have lost the red tent and their whole culture has been torn to bits as the result of the dishonorable behavior of especially Simon and Levi. Throughout the book the female characters are forced into roles that helped their tribes survive but would be intolerable now. Overall this was worth reading once and was rather creative. ( )
  karmiel | Aug 22, 2015 |
Phenomenal. Gave me a healthy, cathartic sob at the end. A powerful story to entertain, inspire, and touch. I love what this does for women....reclaiming.

I can't wait to share this. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 14, 2015 |
Biblical story retold. Actually one sentence expanded into a life story, I enjoyed the historical recreation and the women;s point of view. I recommend it. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
‘The Red Tent’ by Anita Diamant was a very ambitious Biblical novel, which depicted the story of the house of Jacob and his wives, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah. Told from the point of view of Dinah, Leah and Jacob’s daughter, the story portrayed the sexual and cultural customs of that Biblical time. I was intrigued with this novel, as it presented the historical background from which the Judaic and Christian religions were generated. I was also reminded of the hardships that befell women, as they lived subserviently to the male leader (husband) of their clan. The love story between Dinah and Shalem was such a devastating tragedy, when Shalem and his father, the ruler of Shechem, were murdered by Dinah’s brothers. Wondering if this story was based on fact, I looked it up and found it to be quite similar in the Bible. I wondered how the romance would have resulted, as well how history would have changed, if Dinah’s brothers hadn’t murdered the prince and ruler of Shechem. I was intrigued to discover that two of the world’s great religions were formulated from a lineage that experienced tremendous tragedies, with a cast of characters that committed horrific mistakes, resulting in great sorrow, as well as wisdom. Although ‘The Red Tent’ was extremely well written, in reading it, I would lapse through moments of disinterest, as it was tedious to follow the multitude of characters. Nevertheless, Anita Diamant should be commended for presenting a fascinating portrayal of Biblical times as seen through the eyes of an amazing and resilient woman. ( )
  haymaai | Jun 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 297 (next | show all)
Diamant, an award winning journalist, vividly conjures up the ancient world of caravans, shepherds, farmers, midwives, slaves, and artisans in a novel that takes us from Mesopotamia and Canaan down into Egypt... It's revisionist feminist history, to be sure, but inventiveness befits a work of fiction. Diamant's Dinah is a compelling narrator of a tale that has timeless resonance.
The Red Tent instantly drew me in from its very first paragraph. The narrative voice, that of Dinah, reminded me a lot of that of Margaret Atwood’s wonderful Penelopiad which I read last year. It was strong but slightly melancholy and conveyed the same idea of reclaiming the story of a marginal woman from a great male narrative, telling the story from a new, feminine perspective and revealing what ‘really’ happened.

The red tent of the title is the separate tent set aside for the women where they go while menstruating to keep apart from the men. The Red Tent then is a very appropriate title as the book focused almost exclusively on feminine concerns: becoming a woman, giving birth and finding a husband. I appreciated this insight into their secret world and I liked the idea of telling a masculine story to recentre it around the women.

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anita Diamantprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bilger, CarolNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Emilia, my daughter
First words
We have been lost to each other for so long.
If you want to understand any woman you must first ask about her mother and then listen carefully. Stories about food show a strong connection. Wistful silences demonstrate unfinished business. The more a daughter knows the details of her mother’s life—without flinching or whining—the stronger the daughter.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The Red Tent tells the little know Biblical story of Dinah, daughter of the patriarch Jacob and his wife, Leah. In Chapter 34 of the Book of Genesis, Dinah's tale is a short, horrific detour in the familiar narrative of Jacob and Joseph. Anita Diamant imaginatively tells the story from the fresh perspective of its women. In the Biblical tale, Dinah is given no voice; she is the narrator of The Red Tent, which reveals the life of ancient womanhood---the world of the red tent. Readers of The Red Tent will view the Book of Denesis in a new light.
Haiku summary
Lacking a legacy
Joseph's sister Shechem's wife
Was a Wise woman


Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312427298, Paperback)

The red tent is the place where women gathered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and even illness. Like the conversations and mysteries held within this feminine tent, this sweeping piece of fiction offers an insider's look at the daily life of a biblical sorority of mothers and wives and their one and only daughter, Dinah. Told in the voice of Jacob's daughter Dinah (who only received a glimpse of recognition in the Book of Genesis), we are privy to the fascinating feminine characters who bled within the red tent. In a confiding and poetic voice, Dinah whispers stories of her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah--all wives to Jacob, and each one embodying unique feminine traits. As she reveals these sensual and emotionally charged stories we learn of birthing miracles, slaves, artisans, household gods, and sisterhood secrets. Eventually Dinah delves into her own saga of betrayals, grief, and a call to midwifery.

"Like any sisters who live together and share a husband, my mother and aunties spun a sticky web of loyalties and grudges," Anita Diamant writes in the voice of Dinah. "They traded secrets like bracelets, and these were handed down to me the only surviving girl. They told me things I was too young to hear. They held my face between their hands and made me swear to remember." Remembering women's earthy stories and passionate history is indeed the theme of this magnificent book. In fact, it's been said that The Red Tent is what the Bible might have been had it been written by God's daughters, instead of her sons. --Gail Hudson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:58 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Based on the Book of Genesis, Dinah, Jacob's only daughter, shares her perspectives on the origins of many of our modern religious practices and sexual politics, imparting the lessons she has learned from her father's wives.

» see all 4 descriptions

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