PITCHING MY TENT: On Marriage, Motherhood, Friendship, and Other Leaps of Faith

Anita Diamant, Author . Scribner $23 (223p) ISBN 978-0-7432-4616-3

This collection of short essays, culled primarily from the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine and then reworked, offers a taste of nonfiction from the author of the novels The Red Tent and Good Harbor. Diamant describes these selections, organized around such themes as love and marriage, child rearing, friendship and living a religious life, as "a sort of diary." Some pieces ring with poignancy, such as Diamant's memorial to her friend David. "I wish," she writes after she leaves the cemetery before David's casket is lowered, "I had stayed to see the workmen come with their truckload of soil that would tuck him in the earth. I would have added my flower to that blanket, burying him just a little." Other selections are less appealing, such as the one on witnessing a four-alarm fire and another on teachers and sexual harassment. The book's strength lies in its woman-to-woman conversational tone, especially in the opening section about married life and its dark side. "In my more rational moments," Diamant writes, "I understand that nagging is not only unattractive but also a total waste of energy. Jim [Diamant's husband] is never going to (a) clear out his piles of magazines, (b) pinch pennies, or (c) give his lungs and heart a break from nicotine just because of anything I say." Diamant's fans will relish "Midrash—or Not," which answers the question of whether The Red Tent is really Bible commentary. Taken together, these morsels will make a tasty snack for Diamant's admirers. Agent, Amanda Urban. (Oct. 2)

Forecast:The staggering success of Diamant's previous works and a jacket photo of the author looking casual and approachable will attract female browsers, although it's unlikely this will approach Tent-like success.

Reviewed on: 06/09/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-330-43248-1
Hardcover - 255 pages - 978-0-7862-5854-3
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-7432-5352-9
Paperback - 223 pages - 978-0-7432-4617-0
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