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Sara Maitland

Sara was born in 1950 and was brought up in NW Scotland and London, the second of six children. She went to St. Anne's College Oxford and has a BA in English. Sara's first novel Daughter of Jerusalem won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1979. Since then she has written five more novels and several collections of short stories, and a somewhat eclectic range of non-fiction, including theology. In 2004 she moved to Galloway and built herself a house on the moors above Stranraer where she lives alone exploring the richness of silence and solitude. She wrote A Book of Silence (Granta 2008) partly a cultural history of silence and partly a personal memoir of her own search for that elusive lifestyle, and in 2014 How to be Alone (School of Life/ Pan Macmillan). She teaches on-line, for the distance learning MA in Creative writing at Lancaster University and writes monthly columns for The Tablet and for Countryfile magazine. She manages a small, off grid 'hermitage' - a place for solitary retreats in the West Highlands so that other people can have an experience of the silence and solitude she has come to love. She is also the regular annual guest speaker on a retreat in the Sinai Desert with Wind, Sand and Stars.

She has two (fabulous) adult children, one of whom is an actor and the other a photographer and solo-adventurer. She also has a very un-eremitical Border Terrier called Zoe. She is a Roman Catholic.

Sara has been a contributor to our Retreats handbook and was guest speaker at our 2018 conference. We warmly welcome Sara to join us and look forward to working with her in the future.

The Retreat Association for the UK