Sara Maitland


Born
in London, England, The United Kingdom
February 27, 1950

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Sara Maitland is a British writer and academic. An accomplished novelist, she is also known for her short stories. Her work has a magic realist tendency. Maitland is regarded as one of those at the vanguard of the 1970s feminist movement, and is often described as a feminist writer. She is a Roman Catholic, and religion is another theme in much of her work.

Average rating: 3.62 · 4,458 ratings · 620 reviews · 74 distinct worksSimilar authors
How to Be Alone

3.35 avg rating — 1,477 ratings — published 2014 — 12 editions
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A Book Of Silence

3.77 avg rating — 1,018 ratings — published 2008 — 20 editions
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Gossip from the Forest

3.62 avg rating — 821 ratings — published 2012 — 9 editions
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Moss Witch and Other Stories

3.54 avg rating — 79 ratings — published 2013 — 2 editions
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Three Times Table

3.80 avg rating — 61 ratings — published 1990 — 6 editions
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On Becoming a Fairy Godmother

3.57 avg rating — 47 ratings — published 2003
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Far North and Other Dark Tales

3.74 avg rating — 35 ratings — published 2008
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Ancestral Truths

3.46 avg rating — 46 ratings — published 1993 — 6 editions
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Writer's Way: Realize Your ...

3.65 avg rating — 46 ratings — published 2005 — 4 editions
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A Joyful Theology: Creation...

4.32 avg rating — 19 ratings — published 2002 — 3 editions
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“You are one of those courageous people who want to dare to live; and to do so believe you have to explore the depths of yourself, undistracted and unprotected by social conventions and norms.”
Sara Maitland, How to Be Alone

“Forests to the [early] Northern European peoples were dangerous and generous, domestic and wild, beautiful and terrible. And the forests were the terrain out of which fairy stories, one of our earliest and most vital cultural forms, evolved. The mysterious secrets and silences, gifts and perils of the forest are both the background to and source of these tales....

Forests are places where a person can get lost and also hide -- and losing and hiding, of things and people, are central to European fairy stories in ways that are not true of similar stories in different geographies. Landscape informs the collective imagination as much as or more than it forms the individual psyche and its imagination, but this dimension is not something to which we always pay enough attention.”
Sara Maitland, Gossip from the Forest

“The whole tradition of [oral] story telling is endangered by modern technology. Although telling stories is a very fundamental human attribute, to the extent that psychiatry now often treats 'narrative loss' -- the inability to construct a story of one's own life -- as a loss of identity or 'personhood,' it is not natural but an art form -- you have to learn to tell stories. The well-meaning mother is constantly frustrated by the inability of her child to answer questions like 'What did you do today?' (to which the answer is usually a muttered 'nothing' -- but the 'nothing' is cover for 'I don't know how to tell a good story about it, how to impose a story shape on the events'). To tell stories, you have to hear stories and you have to have an audience to hear the stories you tell. Oral story telling is economically unproductive -- there is no marketable product; it is out with the laws of patents and copyright; it cannot easily be commodified; it is a skill without monetary value. And above all, it is an activity requiring leisure -- the oral tradition stands squarely against a modern work ethic....Traditional fairy stories, like all oral traditions, need the sort of time that isn't money.

"The deep connect between the forests and the core stories has been lost; fairy stories and forests have been moved into different categories and, isolated, both are at risk of disappearing, misunderstood and culturally undervalued, 'useless' in the sense of 'financially unprofitable.”
Sara Maitland, Gossip from the Forest



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