What Dinah Thought
I know what is happening
and what is coming.
This has happened before…
What Dinah Thought springs from Genesis, from the story of Jacob and Leah’s daughter who is loved and ravished by a heathen, and whose brothers avenge her honor by slaying him on his wedding night. It is also the story of a modern woman, Dina Z., a Jewish-American filmmaker who goes to Israel to document the lives of people who dwell on ancient holy ground and to discover how that history – of miracles, of sacrifice, of revelation – might affect them.
Spellbound herself, the journalist compromises her reason and her safety when she falls in love with a Palestinian activist. As Dina Z. loses her composure, she reawakens her biblical ancestress, Dinah, who cries out, after centuries of silence, against her own fate and against crimes committed in the name of faith.
Dina Z., despite her feminism and her political awareness, reenacts Dinah’s story and finds herself similarly defined and objectified by men. With her ancient guide, she seeks the truth about being female in a world of mystery and violence, a world where the power of eroticism is a foil to ideology and religion. As with a palimpsest, the tales unravel together and one story of passion becomes an eternal script, taking human lives as its players.
“Here is a book whose moments nearly stop the heart with their beauty, a strange and haunted text, one that all but escapes the words that Metzger sets down. Here is a writer whose sense of the past can help us to make some sense of a nearly senseless present. And such extraordinary description! As though her soul were on fire, in the sun.” – Daniel Berrigan
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