Just as she gave voice to the silent women of the Old Testament in The Red Tent, Anita Diamant creates a cast of breathtakingly vivid characters — young women who escaped to Israel from Nazi Europe — in this intensely dramatic novel.
Day After Night is based on the extraordinary true story of the October 1945 rescue of more than two hundred prisoners from the Atlit internment camp, a prison for "illegal" immigrants run by the British military near the Mediterranean coast south of Haifa. The story is told through the eyes of four young women at the camp with profoundly different stories.
All of them survived the Holocaust: Shayndel, a Polish Zionist; Leonie, a Parisian beauty; Tedi, a hidden Dutch Jew; and Zorah, a concentration camp survivor. Haunted by unspeakable memories and losses, afraid to begin to hope, Shayndel, Leonie, Tedi, and Zorah find salvation in the bonds of friendship and shared experience even as they confront the challenge of re-creating themselves in a strange new country.
This is an unforgettable story of tragedy and redemption, a novel that reimagines a moment in history with such stunning eloquence that we are haunted and moved by every devastating detail. Day After Night is a triumphant work of fiction.
Anita Diamant’s writing career began in Boston in 1975. As a freelance journalist, she contributed to local magazines and newspapers, including the Boston Phoenix, the Boston Globe, and Boston Magazine, branching out into regional and national media, with articles in New England Monthly, Yankee, Self, Parenting, Parents, McCalls, and Ms.
Diamant’s features and columns covered a wide variety of topics, from profiles of prominent people and stories about medical ethics, to first-person essays ranging from politics, to popular culture, to pet ownership. She also wrote about Jewish practice and the Jewish community for Reform Judaism magazine, Hadassah magazine, and jewishfamily.com. A collection of her essays appears in the book, Pitching My Tent: On Marriage, Motherhood, Friendship and Other Leaps of Faith.
Diamant’s first book was The New Jewish Wedding. Written in the year following her own wedding, Diamant’s handbook combined a contemporary sensibility, respect for tradition, and a welcoming prose style. She followed the wedding book with five more guidebooks to Jewish life and lifecycle events: The New Jewish Baby Book, Living a Jewish Life: Jewish Traditions, Customs and Values for Today’s Families, Choosing a Jewish Life: A Handbook for People Converting to Judaism and for Their Family and Friends, Saying Kaddish, How To Comfort the Dying, Bury the Dead and Mourn as a Jew, and How to be a Jewish Parent.
In 1997, Diamant published her first work of fiction, The Red Tent, inspired by a few lines from Genesis. The book became a word-of-mouth bestseller thanks to reader recommendations, book groups, and support from independent bookstores. In 2001, the independent booksellers alliance honored The Red Tent as its “Booksense Best Fiction” selection. There are editions in more than 25 countries world-wide, including Australia, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.
Diamant’s second novel, Good Harbor, is a contemporary story that also explores the importance of women’s friendships as a source of strength and happiness. With The Last Days of Dogtown, she returned to historical fiction. Set on Cape Ann in the early 1800s, The Last Days of Dogtown describes life in a poor, rural community inhabited by widows, spinsters and other marginal women, freed Africans, and orphan children.
Her new novel, Day After Night, returns to the land of The Red Tent to tell the stories of women who lived through the Holocaust and await the future in a British internment camp. It is a story of loss, hope and courage set in the days before the founding of the state of Israel.
Anita Diamant’s early childhood was spent in Newark, New Jersey, until her family moved to Denver, Colorado. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri with a BA in Comparative Literature. After earning a Master’s Degree in English from the State University of New York at Binghamton, she moved to the Boston area, where she has lived since. She is married to Jim Ball; they have one grown daughter, Emilia.