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The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
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The Red Tent (edition 1998)

by Anita Diamant

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12,935308177 (4.05)357
Member:dreamydress48
Title:The Red Tent
Authors:Anita Diamant
Info:Picador (1998), Paperback, 321 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:kindle

Work details

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

  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 (305)  Danish (1)  All languages (306)
Showing 1-5 of 305 (next | show all)
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 |
I love this book.

Every time I read it, I want to pick it back up and read it again immediately, until each word is etched on the inside of my skull, a carved memory I could never remove. I love Dinah, and I love her mothers, in each of their remarkable ways. I know this book is a work of historical fiction, but I feel like I can walk into Dinah's world and walk beside Leah or Rachel or Zilpah and be a part of their story. I think in part this is due to the style or storytelling - it's written as though it was spoken, a transcript of the oral tradition.

The other reason, however, is personal. My father gave me my middle name Rachel to be named for Rachel, daughter of Laban, second wife of Jacob. I am immediately attached to any version of Rachel's story, even that of her surrogate daughter, and in that way I am immediately plunged into the work. So I may be unfairly fond of it, and it would certainly explain why I lose interested as Dinah gets older. But I always finish it.

Outside of the growth on a side of a story that is never told, one of the few women in a religious tradition abounded by men, the way Diamond weaves her story is full and lyrical. I find myself feeling Bilhah's pain as she disappears, Zilch's delight that she had swallowed the moon (I love, love, love that term for pregnancy). I love Leah and Rachel's rivalry and I love the way they are as real and beautiful and individual and passionate as any woman should be able to be. I enjoy reading and rereading this book because the characters feel like friends. ( )
  Morteana | Jan 25, 2016 |
It took me a long time to get into this book, but I'm glad I stuck with it as the second half of the story was interesting to read. ( )
  Melissa_J | Jan 16, 2016 |
Very powerful. ( )
  bouldermimi | Jan 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 305 (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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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