Monday, October 26, 2009

The Red Tent Revisited

Five or six years ago, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant was a "hot" book discussion group title. The title was made into a book bag at the start of the RTG program because of its popularity, but, that popularity has died down considerably. If your group had wanted to discuss it and was unable to get enough copies in the past, now you can add the book back on your list. To refresh your memory, here's how the author describes The Red Tent on her website:
Booksense Book of the Year, 2001

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 kit is hosted by the Wiggin Memorial Library in Stratham. Contact the ILL librarian at ill@wigginml.org to check availability.

As with all kits, The Red Tent comes with discussion questions to get you started. Another question to consider adding is this, "Rabbi J. Avram Rothman, in an article entitled, 'The Red Tent: If You Knew Dina Like I Know Dina' states,
Only sheer audacity would enable an author to rewrite the history of a nation's seminal figures, tarnishing the name of Judaism's noble ancestors. They were fallible, but they were giants. Even historical fiction must be based on history. And in this, she fails.
What do you think about this statement? Is it wrong for a writer of fiction to portray a character with 21st. century sensibilities? Has Diamant failed?"

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