Set under the skies of eighteenth-century Japan, Night Boat is a tale of fear, devotion and the power of the spirit against all odds
On the side of a mountain, in eighteenth century Japan, sits a man in perfect stillness as the summit erupts, spitting fire and molten rock onto the land around him. The man is Hakuin. He will become the world’s most famous teacher of zen. This is not the first time he has seen hell.
Hakuin’s quest for truth will call on him to defy his father, to face death, to find love and to lose it. He will ask, what is the sound of one hand clapping? And he will master his greatest fear. Night Boat is the story of his astonishing life.
“A brave, ambitious and wonderfully insightful book”
Kevin Macneil, Author Of The Stornaway Way
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“A remarkable, and remarkably fine, novel”
“One of Scotland’s most accomplished literary talents”
“Spence is a visionary”
“Not merely an engaging and vivid historical novel, but also a meditative work of art that is as finely honed as a samurai’s sword”
the Times, On The Pure Land
Alan Spence is an award-winning Scottish poet, playwright, novelist and short story writer. Awards include the Glenfiddich Award, The People’s Prize, Macallan Short Story Prize and McVitie Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year. He is Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen where he founded the annual WORD Festival in 1999 and was its Artistic Director for 12 years. With his wife he runs the Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centre in Edinburgh.