A Book of Silence

( 4 )

Overview


In her late forties, after a noisy upbringing as one of six children and adulthood as a vocal feminist and mother, Sara Maitland found herself living alone in the country and, to her surprise, falling in love with silence. In this fascinating, intelligent, and beautifully written book, Maitland describes how she set out to explore this new love, spending periods of silence in the Sinai desert, the Scottish hills, and a remote cottage on the Isle of Skye.

Maitland delves deep ...

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Overview


In her late forties, after a noisy upbringing as one of six children and adulthood as a vocal feminist and mother, Sara Maitland found herself living alone in the country and, to her surprise, falling in love with silence. In this fascinating, intelligent, and beautifully written book, Maitland describes how she set out to explore this new love, spending periods of silence in the Sinai desert, the Scottish hills, and a remote cottage on the Isle of Skye.

Maitland delves deep into the rich cultural history of silence, exploring its significance in fairy tale and myth, its importance to the Western and Eastern religious traditions, and its use in psychoanalysis and artistic expression.

Her story culminates in her building a hermitage on an isolated moor in Galloway, and as she guides readers through experiences of silence in this new home, she evokes a sense of peace that includes the reader in its intimate tranquility.

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Editorial Reviews

Dominique Browning
Sara Maitland has scaled the heights (or is it depths?) of what might be the only frontier humankind will never conquer and cannot, in spite of itself, destroy—silence. Infinite, fathomless, terrifying, uplifting, unknowable, gorgeous silence. It's difficult to convey the thrill of A Book of Silence, an adventure story that doesn't involve roaring crowds or screaming headlines, doesn't depict a heroine climbing high mountains or sailing vast oceans, doesn't chronicle racing pulses or sweaty palms, and yet is every bit as awe-inspiring, death-defying and mind-blowing as any trip up Everest. Rarely have I been so amazed at the splendor of a new landscape unfolding before my eyes, and felt so tense wondering what was going to happen as this intrepid writer pushed her way across the pages.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582436135
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 8/17/2010
  • Pages: 311
  • Sales rank: 697,534
  • Product dimensions: 9.22 (w) x 11.06 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Growing up in a Noisy World 1

2 Forty Days and Forty Nights 34

3 The Dark Side 80

4 Silence and the Gods 116

5 Silent Places 154

6 Desert Hermits 189

7 The Bliss of Solitude 223

8 Coming Home 258

Acknowledgements 289

Notes 291

Index 301

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2010

    A fun book, but fictional

    Page 221 contains information about 'six visible planets within a perfect eight-note scale' that were noted by men of antiquity. The eight-note scale includes the sun and moon. But the fact is, the ancients knew of only five planets, and those five planets plus the sun and moon were ordered into what we now use as a seven day week. Her entire discourse on the matter is bogus. That pretty well ruins the effect of her other research.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Existential geography

    A slender volume - but deep in the literary engagement with the possibility of solitude and contemplation in a world made hectic and busy by globalization and 24/7 technologies. The book made me want to travel to Isle of Skye and seek the landscape that would offer the intensity of reflection - and inner dialogue.

    This is a needed work - a piece of literature - as antidote to the hurry sickness and march step to the grave.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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