The Red Tent

Recently read The Red Tent which is a novel based on one of my favourite Genesis stories.

When Jacob and his four wives, 12 sons, and one daughter, Dinah, are moving about, they settle near the city of Shalem. Dinah goes out and Shechem, the prince of the city “saw her, took her, lay with her and defiled her.”

How consensual the act was is not clear but the prince “loved the damsel” and asked his father to “get me this damsel to wife.”

Shechem and his father barter with Jacob and much is offered but Jacob’s sons, are infuriated and will not “give our sister to one who is uncircumcised.”

To clinch the deal all the men in Shalem must be circumcised so both groups can live as one. Shechem’s father convinces the rest of his group by saying “these men are peaceable.”. Two days later “when [the men] were sore” Dinah’s brothers came into the city and “slew all the males … and took all their wealth and all their little ones and their wives they took captive.”

Unlike the Bible story, The Red Tent is told completely through Dinah’s eyes and voice… The author imagines Dinah’s life and her relationships with the other women both before and after this pivotal event. It’s not really a guy book, but still worth the read.

As well while traveling this summer I caught the tail end of an interview with a person who had taken a year to read the Bible and had posted his commentary on a blog and gathered responses from others. He then put the material in a book. Never did catch the name, but it got me thinking if it would be possible to do something similar.

I think the book you’re referring to is ‘Living Biblically’. I don’t remember the author. But I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s called. Or maybe ‘My Year of Living Biblically’. Something like that.

The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs. He’s written other books as well. Check it out.