"Essays of considerable literary erudition and sophistication that... dislodge dull stereotypes to enable both women and men readers to see the Bible with fresh eyes."
--Los Angeles Times Book Review
As the one work that has held moral and religious sway over the Judeo-Christian tradition for thousands of years, the Bible is unsurpassed in world literature. For women, its meaning is particularly complex; traditionally, the Bible has been used to keep women in their place, but it has also been a book of enduring inspiration. Out of the Garden marks a new stage in women's relations to the Bible: this is the first collection of essays in which women read and respond to the Bible out of pleasure and curiosity--free to explore what is really relevant to women's lives.
Drawing on their own experiences and interests, Louise Erdrich, Cynthia Ozick, Fay Weldon, Phyllis Trible, Rebecca Goldstein, June Jordan, Ursula K. Le Guin, and twenty-one other writers boldly, imaginatively--and sometimes reproachfully--address the Old Testament stories, characters, and poetry that mean the most to them. Thoughtful, challenging, and playful, these beautifully written essays explore the Bible in fresh new ways. Out of the Garden reclaims the Bible for women and shows readers that the Bible is a source we can return to again and again.
"A many-splendored achievement...This grand collection is a bold revitalization of our relation to our tradition. It offers the reader the gorgeously varied company of strongly delineated temperaments as they take on the compelling, threatening figures of our imaginative forebears."
Author of The Book of J and The Western Canon