The Red Tent - 20th Anniversary Edition: A Novel

The Red Tent - 20th Anniversary Edition: A Novel

Anita Diamant

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0312427298

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A New York Times Bestseller

A decade after the publication of this hugely popular international bestseller, Picador releases the tenth anniversary edition of The Red Tent.

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 tell of her father, Jacob, and his twelve sons.

Told in Dinah's voice, Anita Diamant imagines the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood--the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of the mothers--Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah--the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through childhood, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past.

Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women's lives.


















this secret, I will tell you something else. “Re-mose, your father was called Shalem, and he was as beautiful as the sunset for which he was named. We chose each other in love. The name I gave you at my breast was Bar-Shalem, son of the sunset, and your father lived in you. “Your grandmother called you Re-mose, making you a child of Egypt and the sun god. In either language and in any country, you are blessed by the great power of the heavens. Your future is written on your face, and I pray

to the bed and massaged my feet. All the pain of the past weeks melted as she kneaded my toes and cradled my heels. After I was at peace and still, I asked her to sit by my side and I took her hand, still warm and moist with oil, and told her the rest of what had happened to me in Thebes, including how it came to pass that Zafenat Paneh-ah, the king’s right hand, was my brother Joseph. Meryt listened in stillness, watching my face as I recounted my mothers’ history, and the story of Shechem and

Laban said, “So be it,” and the men drank wine to seal the agreement. Jacob would go with his wives and his sons, and with the brindled and spotted flocks, which numbered no more than sixty goats and sixty sheep. There would have been more livestock, but Jacob traded for two of the bondsmen and their women. In exchange for a donkey and an ancient ox, Jacob agreed to leave two of his dogs, including the best of the herders. All of the household goods of Leah and Rachel were Jacob’s to take, as

cause my mother to hold her tongue about anything. Zilpah’s memory of Jacob’s arrival is nothing like Rachel’s or Leah’s, but then Zilpah had little use for men, whom she described as hairy, crude, and half human. Women needed men to make babies and to move heavy objects, but otherwise she didn’t understand their purpose, much less appreciate their charms. She loved her sons passionately until they grew beards, but after that could barely bring herself to look at them. When I was old enough to

cleanliness would accept such foul remedies. Although Egyptian herbal lore was deep and old, I was pleased to find methods and plants of which they knew little. Meryt found cumin seed in the marketplace, and she was surprised to learn that it aided the healing of wounds. She bought hyssop and mint with their roots still intact, and they flourished in the pungent black soil of Egypt. No one suffered from a sour stomach in the house of Nakhtre again. Thus Meryt became famous for “her” exotic

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