Sara Maitland has been in the review columns recently due to the publication of the paperback edition of her intriguing A book of silence, but I have been dipping into her most recent short story collection Far North. The deeply spiritual Maitland was born in Galloway, and after many years away, is now back in that area, living in a remote house. I have nt seen the film of the title story – it stars Sean Bean as the hunter who threatens to disrupt the life of two Inuit women – but I can imagine the frozen landscape and the lonely lives might transfer well to the screen. It is, however, only one of many striking tales based on classical mythology and myths from around the world in this book. Rapunzel, Casandra, and the Biblical Sarah all appear, as does, perhaps more surprisingly the dead St. Cuthbert who has been blessed with a miraculously incorruptible body he longs to be rid of. It is an intriguing collection from an original writer.