It’s been ten years since the publication of The Red Tent, and the publisher has produced a new edition in its honor. Inside, there is an essay I wrote musing about why I wrote it and what it means to me. Outside, there’s a sort of shiny “medal” and the title is in gold foil instead of red.
People often ask me if I knew when I was writing the book, that it would become a best-seller. The answer is “No.”
Everyone who writes a book hopes and prays it finds its audiences — hopefully a really big audience. But having published four titles before, I knew my life wasn’t going to change overnight, if at all.
The Red Tent was a “sleeper” success, which found its audience almost entirely because of word-of-mouth recommendations from book group members and book sellers (especially those in independent bookstores.)When I get email from readers, they almost always tell me how it came into their hands: pressed upon them by mother/daughter/sister/co-worker — this “geneology” is important to them, making it a shared family/communal experience. It’s lovely.
Today, I received a wonderful gift by way of my local weekly newspaper. Written by Mary Cotton, the owner of our wonderful independent store, Newtonville Books, it celebrates the 10th anniversary of The Red Tent with amazing kindness. Thank you, Mary. Here is the link: http://www.townonline.com/newton/opinion/x775326971
And thank you, out there in blogville, for reading along.