I read “The Red Tent” yesterday. The whole thing, cover to cover. Then I went out and bought myself a copy (I’d borrowed it from the library) so I can read it again whenever I wish.
The book begins with Dinah telling us how men took over the story-telling, and how women’s stories have been lost because of it. Men tell their side of things, and since they largely ignored (or abused) women for thousands of years, they don’t know our stories.
This book, her life, her world – it all felt entirely plausible. Real. Rich with love and longing and vivid human characters, strong women who were largely ignored by men in a time when that was the norm – and giving a new spin to cruelty and shining a light on traditions seen as shameful or harmful.
But maybe we just don’t have the whole story.
If ever a case were to be made for fiction as world-changing writing, here it is.
If ever a case were to be made for women writing their stories, here it is.
My world has been changed by this book. My life has been touched and altered by the stories of these women who never had voices before now. And their voices hit my heart, and my world shifted. A longing deep inside me welled up, drew itself large, and blossomed inside my chest.
And now I will give words to this longing, and I will pay it forward.
So please, I implore you, tell us your stories. Write down your words. Open up and share your heart.
Don’t allow your stories to go unspoken; don’t let the world glaze over your life. Your stories will shift the world – and we need that shift now more than ever.