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.


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  2. Marn on November 6, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    Anita- I just wanted to say that I loved your book. The deciding factor between good and great books: You want to know everything there is to know about the character(s) and you feel that they are your intimate friends. Additionally this book is one that empowers women in that we can learn from the past and change our children’s future (end the shame and isolation of menstruation) and at the same time appreciate the time in which we live (many advantages over women of the time.) LOVED IT!

  3. amy-scarlett on November 19, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    Hi Mrs. Diamant, I am a grade twelve student from Canada. I am doing a my independent novel study on your novel “The Red Tent”. I was wondering what influenced you to write this book. I am aware of the essay that is in the new version of the novel but the library only cares the old one. If there is somewhere else I could obtain it from that would be great! I look forward to hearing from you.

  4. Anita Diamant on November 23, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    Hi Amy-Scarlett:

    Sorry it took me awhile to get to this, but most readers contact me through my website,www.anitadiamant.com, where you might want to look for information about The Red Tent that might help in your essay.
    thanks for writing and for choosing my book for your essay

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