The Red Tent
The Red Tent retells the story of Dinah, which is found in the Biblical book of Genesis, Chapter 34. This episode, usually known as the “Rape of Dinah” has been a difficult passage for bible readers for centuries because of the murderous behavior of Jacob’s sons. In Genesis, Dinah does not say a single word; what happens to her is recounted and characterized as rape by her brothers. In my retelling of the story, Dinah finds her voice. The Red Tent is told entirely from her perspective and the point of view of the women around her.
The Red Tent is historical fiction, but because it is based on a story in the Bible, many readers feel an extraordinary connection to its cast of characters, whose names and tales are part of our culture, and our families, too. After all, many of us have parents named Jacob or Rachel, and many of us have children named Joseph or Leah.
The amazing word-of-mouth support from readers and from book groups, has made The Red Tent a publishing phenomenon. First printed in 1997 with no advertising budget and few reviews in major newspapers or magazines, this book only found its audience through the loyalty of readers, the support of independent bookstores, and help from clergy, some of whom even preached about The Red Tent from the pulpit.
The Red Tent has been published in 25 countries with translations into 20 languages including Finnish, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Portuguese, and Swedish.
To all of you who recommended The Red Tent to friends, who bought copies to give as gifts, and who suggested it for your book clubs: Thank you, thank you, thank you.
“My heart is a ladle of sweet water brimming over.”