I still get emails, and even the occasional letter, about The Red Tent. Nearly all of the communication comes from women, and lately from high school students — some of whom were assigned the book, others who found it on their own.
Since there is a lot of birthing in The Red Tent, as well as accounts of women of the ancient world either trying to get pregnant or prevent pregnancy, over the years I’ve heard from nurses, ob-gyns, and midwives. I’ve always been very touched to hear that they feel the novel affirms and honors the work they do.
Several have mentioned the “birth song” attributed to the midwives of Shechem — but written by me. (Always remember; this is fiction.) The lyric has been set to music a few times and most recently by Dulcy Sacan, a midwifery student at the University of Pennsylvania. The song was used in the sound track of a video entitled, “Why I become a Midwife,” and won a contest at the recent American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) 55th annual meeting in San Antonio. The testimony of her classmates — expressing their passion to support women’s health — brought tears to my eyes.
Dulcy sings on the four-minute video. http://youtu.be/c-_S3X5y4H0