Why You Should Read Anita Diamant Books: Jewish Book Week

To kick off our ‘Jewish Book Week’ series, we will be highlighting, journalist, feminist, and award-winning author Anita Diamant!

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Diamant was born on June 27, 1951, and was raised in Newark, New Jersey before moving to Denver Colorado at the age of 12. She received her bachelor’s in comparative literature from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and earned her Master’s in American literature from Binghamton University. 

Diamant began her journalism career in Boston in 1975. She wrote for local papers before branching out to write for larger publications such as New England Monthly, Parents, McCall’s, and Ms. Her writing covered all sorts of topics such as medical ethics, politics, and parenting. In 1985, she published her first book, The New Jewish Wedding. Five other guidebooks to Jewish life followed this first publication. 

Anita is married, has one daughter, and continues to write today.

Anita’s Impact

Many of Diamant’s books serve as commentary on how to live a modern, Jewish life. According to the Jewish Women’s Archive “She sees them as not only “how-to” books but also “why to.” Diamant considers herself a feminist. In 2004, Diamant became the founding president of Mayyim Hayyim, Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center: a project that would help make mikvahs more accessible for all Jewish people. (A mikvah is a ritual bath used in Jewish practices.)

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Book Recommendations: 

The Red Tent

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This book is often cited as Diamant’s more known works. The Red Tent is a reimagining of the story of obscure bible character Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah. The novel met criticism because it implied that women may enjoy goddess worship, rather than just the monotheistic God of Judaism. The book discusses the struggles and sacrifices of ancient womanhood and has become a “rallying cry” for modern women, according to the LA Times. The book became a TV miniseries on the Lifetime Network in 2014.

Day After Night

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Day After Night is based on the true story of four women that survive the holocaust before becoming locked up in the Atlit internment camp, run by the British military. The four begin to form a bond and must figure out how to rebuild themselves after numerous tragedies. The book was named a ‘Best Book of the Year’ by The Washington Post and The Salt Lake Tribune.

Period. End of Sentence: A New Chapter in the Fight for Menstrual Justice

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Period. End of Sentence is inspired by the documentary of the same name. The book is a collection of essays about menstrual history, stigma, and accessibility. It is also celebratory of all of the activists who are working to end these issues. According to a Marie-Claire review, Diamant has “the keen eye of a reporter, the soul of a storyteller, and the voice of a trusted narrator. Her commitment to social justice and dignity for all shines through.”

To read the rest of our Jewish Book Week series, click here!

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