Anita Diamant’s beloved international best-seller, “The Red Tent,” is coming to the screen as a Lifetime miniseries, premiering Dec. 7 and 8.
“The Red Tent” is the tale of Dinah, the daughter of Leah and Jacob, whose story was almost a footnote in the Bible — a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the book of Genesis.
Told in Dinah’s voice, “The Red Tent” brings to life the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood. It begins with the story of Dinah’s mothers — Leah, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilhah — the four wives of Jacob.
First published in 1997, the novel, which was translated into 28 languages and sold more than three million copies, was reissued Nov. 4.
“I had no idea ‘The Red Tent’ would find such a large and passionate audience. It’s been an amazing gift for which I am forever grateful,” Diamant told the AJP. By the time she published “The Red Tent,” Diamant was already known for several nonfiction works, including “The New Jewish Wedding” and “Living A Jewish Life.”
The cast of the miniseries includes Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Minnie Driver (“Return to Zero,” “About a Boy”) as Leah, Emmy nominee Morena Baccarin (“Homeland”) as Rachel and Golden Globe nominee Rebecca Ferguson (“The White Queen”) as Dinah. Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Iain Glen (“Game of Thrones”) plays Dinah’s father, Jacob; Will Tudor (“Game of Thrones”) is her dream-interpreting brother, Joseph; and Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Debra Winger (“Terms of Endearment”) is Jacob’s mother, the matriarch Rebecca.
Winger is Jewish, but whether the actors are Jewish or not “would make no difference to me,” says Diamant, who explains she never thought of the characters as Jewish since the historical period of her book “is long before Sinai and a sense of Jewish peoplehood.”
Diamant, who chose not to be involved with writing the screenplay, says she’s happy the script “is faithful to the book’s portrayal of the value and dignity of women’s lives and the importance of women’s relationships.”