A Book of Silence

Introverts who read Sara Maitland’s new book about silence may need to recommit themselves to the commandment not to covet. In the first chapter, Maitland is sitting on the porch of her house on a high moor in England’s County Durham on a warm October morning, “with nothing in my diary for the next fortnight.” By chapter two, in order to more fully explore her hunch that “silence is something positive, not just an abstraction or absence,” Maitland has moved for 40 days and 40 nights to a cottage on Skye, the northernmost island of the Inner Hebrides. By chapter six she is researching desert spirituality on a retreat in the Sinai Desert; by seven, she is investigating romantic notions of silence and the self by hiking in Gal loway.

 

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