Anita Diamant, author of the bestselling novel, The Red Tent, will deliver the Women’s Society of Washington University Adele Starbird Lecture for the Assembly Series at 11 a.m., Wednesday, April 20th in Graham Chapel. Her talk is entitled “Imagining the Past: A Conversation with Anita Diamant.” A booksigning will precede the lecture at the chapel, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
The Red Tent is a fictional narrative based on a biblical passage in Genesis, which is usually referred to as “The Rape of Dinah.” In Diamant’s retelling, Jacob’s only daughter, Dinah, narrates the story of her own life from childhood, through love, loss, and redemption. A favorite with book groups around the world, The Red Tent touches on the timeless themes of friendship, mother-daughter bonds, and the all-too-hidden triumphs of women’s daily lives.
The Red Tent was first published in 1997, with little fanfare or critical attention. However, word of mouth popularized the book so successfully that it became an international publishing phenomenon. It won the 2001 Booksense Book of the Year Award and has been published in 25 countries and 19 languages. The Jewish Times calls the novel a “richly imagined world,” while Kirkus Reviews says it has ” a narrative of force and color.”
Diamant’s second novel, Good Harbor, is a contemporary story and was published in 2001; her forthcoming novel, The Last Days of Dogtown, set in rural Massachusetts of the early 1800s, will be published in September. A collection of essays, Pitching My Tent: On Marriage, Motherhood, Friendship and Other Leaps of Faith, appeared in 2003. Her non-fiction guides to contemporary Jewish life are standard reference books in many U.S. homes. These include How to be a Jewish Parent; Saying Kaddish; Choosing a Jewish Life; Living a Jewish Life; The New Jewish Baby Book; and The New Jewish Wedding.
Her journalistic work has appeared in such publications as Boston Magazine, The Boston Globe, Parenting Magazine, and Reform Judaism. She is president of Mayyim Hayyim: Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center, a 21st century institution reclaiming the ancient Jewish practice of ritual immersion.
Diamant holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Washington University and a master’s degree in English from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Graham Chapel is located just north of Mallinckrodt Center (6445 Forsyth Blvd.) on the Washington University campus. All Assembly Series lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, check the Web site at http://assemblyseries.wustl.edu or call 314-935-4620.