Well, here's our author as the picture of contentment, in what I imagine to be her home in Newton, Massachusetts, where she has lived since completing her graduate work. Born in 1951 in Newark, New Jersey, Anita Diamant spent her early childhood years in the same Jewish community as Philip Roth. Although her family was not particularly religious, they nonetheless followed Jewish ways, and her interest in Judaism grew as she matured. Diamant is now a noted author on Jewish lifestyle and traditions, publishing such books as How to Raise a Jewish Child and Saying Kaddish. The Red Tent is her first fiction book, followed up by Good Harbor and The Last Days of Dogtown.
In writing The Red Tent, Diamant states that she was inspired by Virginia Woolf's idea that the relationship between women in fiction historically had been drawn too simplistically. Diamant initially considered the complex relationship between Leah and Rachel as her focal point for a story, but changed her mind when she read the very short passage in the book of Genesis about Dinah. Anita states, "I found Dinah's silence to be a great open door - thanks to Woolf and many other feminist writers who pointed out that there was a door. So I gave her a voice." You can read more about the author on her Web site.