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RED TENT
Bibliophile price: £3.25
Loosely based on stories found in the Bible, here is a brilliant fictionalised work which became a film and a New York Times bestseller and here in 20th anniversary edition which Bibliophile has imported. In her 2007 afterword, the author said 'I was drawn to retell the biblical story of Dinah in large part because of her silence. In Genesis 34, Dinah's experience is described and characterised by the men in her family, who treat her as a rape victim, which in that historical setting meant that she was irredeemably ruined and degraded. Because she does not say a word, I found it easy to imagine an alternative telling of the story, in which Dinah is not a passive victim but a young woman who makes choices and acts on her own initiative.' Readers have felt empowered by the essential courage, dignity and beauty of the female experiences portrayed in this novel written by a woman who is a self-confessed feminist, Jew and American. The novel celebrates mothers and daughters and the mysteries of the life cycle in a richly imagined world which paints a picture of what women's society might have resembled during biblical times, and in this way fills in gaps left in the biblical text. Here is an ancient world of caravans, shepherds, farmers, midwives, slaves and artisans and Dinah is a compelling narrator of a tale that has timeless resonance. With discussion questions, 322pp in specially imported paperback.

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