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The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
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The Red Tent

by Anita Diamant

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,944311177 (4.05)357
  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 357 mentions

English (308)  Danish (1)  All languages (309)
Showing 1-5 of 308 (next | show all)
5***** and a

What a wonderfully told story! From a relatively small reference in the Bible, Diamant weaves a historical novel that completely captivates. Dinah, sister of Joseph, daughter of Jacob and Leah, tells her tale. The story is brought to life with vivid descriptions of the hardships and pleasures of everyday life, the sorrow and despair following tragedy, the anger and fury of one betrayed, the passion and sweetness of new love, the comfort of a mother's love for her child, the enduring love of friendship among the "family" of women. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 10, 2016 |
This well-researched novel paints a vivid picture of life in the Middle East during Biblical times. Following the life of a minor Biblical character, Dinah, Diamant goes far beyond the few brief verses that mention her and creates a fully-fleshed-out character.

I particularly liked how the author presents customs and mores that differ greatly from those of modern Western society without any attempt at justification or sensationalism, instead focusing on the common threads of humanity that bind all societies...
There was an awful lot of graphic childbearing for my personal taste - but the main character is a midwife - and women's lives at that time in history DID revolve pretty strongly around children - so it's understandable (just not appealing!) Also, the author definitely makes an attempt to be evenhanded - a woman who does NOT want children makes an appearance. Although life in Canaan and Egypt is shown to be harsh, violent and difficult and women are not always treated justly by men, there are also men who are fair and caring. (not always the case in many femini-centric historical works)

I was really afraid this book would be annoyingly religious - but it's not at all. The author really strives to be accurate in her portrayal of the religions and customs of the time, without overt critique. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I have mixed feelings on this. I love the premise, the idea that someone wrote about some of the women of the Bible as though they were actual people. But I listened to it on audio and I did not like the narrator (nor was the writing fantastic). I loved listening to the stories of Leah, Bilhah, Zilpha, and Rachel. I really did not like the way Leah and Rachel were depicted in their attitudes toward Jacob at the beginning... the fawning and obsessing were a little gag-inducing for me. I actually quite liked the way Jacob was depicted, but for some reason Joseph bothered me; not sure why the disparity. A lot of the time I found myself just so angry at the horrible way women were treated, and I can't quite separate that from my feelings about the book itself. It was good, though, especially for what it is—a book that tells untold stories—and I am glad to have read it.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
I am not what you would call a fan of "women's fiction," but this may be the most excellent rendering of the genre. Think of great generational epics, Roots and The Thorn Birds come to mind. Now go to the Old Testament and mix well. I spent a fair part of today crying as the tale drew to a close. I will nominate it for my Book Club. ( )
  MaureenCean | Feb 2, 2016 |
Lost to history by the chronicles of men, here at last is the dazzlingly story of Dinah, Jacob's only daughter in the book of Genesis. Moving panoramically from Mesopotamia to Canaan to Egypt, 'The Red Tent' is robustly narrated by Dinah, from her upbringing by the four wives of Jacob, to her growth into one of the most influential women of her time. It is a beautiful story of strength, love, tragedy, determination, and of the life of a very unique person. I really enjoyed reading it. ( )
  BookieWorm | Jan 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 308 (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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Epigraph
Dedication
For Emilia, my daughter
First words
We have been lost to each other for so long.
Quotations
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

(Lesley_Barker)

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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