The Red Tent

The Red Tent

Book - 1997
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Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhood--the world of the red tent.
Publisher: New York : Picador USA, ©1997
ISBN: 9780312195519
Characteristics: 321 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


From Library Staff

Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood. -

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Bazette Apr 24, 2017

An exceptional book! Holds your interest right to the end.

Mar 28, 2017

I've read this book several times. I really enjoy Diamant's writing style.

Mar 19, 2017

This is a remarkable, insightful, and thought-provoking account from the women's point of view of events and people written about in the Book of Genesis.

Why is it so great?
1) Diamant is an amazing storyteller! The imagery is very rich.
2) Plenty of suspense to keep you turning pages
3) You don't have be religious to enjoy it.
4) It just is so, so good!
Recommended by Genn (the Pagemaster)

May 02, 2016

Enjoyed the imagination that went into creating the lives of - and events affecting the lives of these women. While biblical threads exists in the story there are also some deviations from the Bible.

Very interesting and well written!

KateHillier Jul 13, 2015

Judging by the amount of people I know who have read/started this book, who have suddenly appeared out of the woodwork once I mentioned I was reading it, I seem to be one of the last people on Earth who have heard about it. I also had no idea who Dinah was or her story (or rather lack thereof). So I basically went into this completely blind.

It took me a bit to like it but I can say that I did like it. I liked it a bit more once we got through the events prior to Dinah's birth but I was entranced just as much as Dinah herself was with the red tent and how the women were with each other in relation to the men. The men in the story may as well not be there and more often than not aren't portrayed in the best light but I can't blame that considering that it is Dinah telling the story and she has certainly not had a fair time by them.

I think my favourite part of the book is really just the way it's written. You definitely feel like she's sitting there telling you this story and everything just sort of flows naturally. Even the little asides of things she didn't do. It's really very rhythmic.

If you're a woman it will certainly strike a chord with you; whether that makes you keep reading or put the book down is another issue. I can definitely see why I was told it was one of those books that you wither love or you hate.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 22, 2014

Inspired by Biblical events, Diamant has written a passionate and earthy first novel. Based on the story of Jacob and his tribe as seen through the eyes of his daughter, Dinah, this book is a great book club choice.

Dec 10, 2014

Right off let me say I did not read this as raved about by others. The idea of biblical women just didn't ring my bell - unless it's proven history & that is the bone of contention. So I cheated & watched the 2 part drama on TV & did enjoy it; the imagined possibility was good; likely traditions well thought out & blending cultures very interesting. I do like & respect reading/learning about Jewish traditions, history, culture. Little doubt that women in that era were chattel & amazingly strong, enduring & surviving the harsh conditions. It irks me that writers or producers have to add sex scenes because they are pandering to titillation instead of making suggestion to ones imagination. Physical, sexual passion is not new.

Nov 24, 2014

She walks with me still!
I found it such a riveting read that it was difficult to put down and I hated to have it end. I love that we are finally hearing about the lives, traditions and wisdom of the strong women of Biblical times.

Sep 18, 2014

This was such a refreshing book to read. The author does a wonderful job telling the story from the women's perspective. Really makes one wonder what we've missed over the years with certain books and stories being eliminated and lost from the original writings. I felt an even stronger solidarity with other women after reading this book. Bravo to Anita Diamant.

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Jul 25, 2012

alyssamarie32 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

bidbid Jul 18, 2011

bidbid thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jan 09, 2009

Sarahd thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Dec 20, 2008

DavidB thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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FavouriteFiction Oct 03, 2009

In the Book of Genesis the bible tells of Jacob and his twelve sons. This novel tells the story of Jacob's daughter Dinah and her mothers - Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah - the four wives of Jacob.

heatherlynn Mar 14, 2008




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Feb 10, 2009

No one recalled my skill as a midwife, or the songs I sung, or the bred I baked for my insatiable brothers. Nothing remained except a few mangled details about those weeks in Shechem. There was far more to tell. Had I been asked to speak of it, I would have begun with the story of the generation that raised me, which is the only place to begin. 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 about the details of her mother’s life – without flinching or whining – the stronger the daughter.

Feb 10, 2009

We have been lost to each other for so long. My name means nothing to you. My memory is dust. This is not your fault or mine. The chain connecting mother to daughter was broken and the word passed to the keeping of men, who had no way of knowing. That is why I became a footnote, my story a brief detour between the well-known history of my Father, Jacob, and the celebrated chronicle of Joseph, my brother. On those rare occasions when I was remembered, it was as a victim. Near the beginning of your holy book, there is a passage that seems to say I was raped and continues with the bloody tale of how my honor was avenged. It’s a wonder that any mother ever called a daughter Dinah again. But some did. Maybe you guessed that there was more to me than the voiceless cipher in the text. Maybe you heard it in the music of my name: the first vowel high and clear, as when a mother calls to her child at dusk; the second sound soft, for whispering secrets on pillows. Dee-nah.


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