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The Pure Land

The year is 1858. Thomas Glover is a restless young man with dreams of escape. Abandoning his childhood sweetheart, he takes a posting as a trader in Japan. Within ten years he earns a great fortune, learns the ways of the Samurai and helps to overthrow the Shogun. Yet beneath his astonishing success lies a man cut to the heart by an affair with a beautiful courtesan, a lover who, unknown to Glover, would bear him a son.

Based on the true-life story that inspired Madame Butterfly, The Pure Land is a tale that will linger.

Alan Spence
About the Author

Alan Spence is an award-winning poet and playwright, novelist and short-story writer. He is Profesor in Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen, where he is also Artistic Director of the annual WORD Festival.

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Text publication date:
26 November 2007
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Praise for Alan Spence
andThe Pure Land

‘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…A page-turner of the first order.’

‘Astonishing in its breadth, depth and ambition…a beautifully written modern epic.’

‘Spence has chosen the perfect subject for historical fiction: Glover is a charismatic character, this is a fascinating period in Japan’s annals and the politics and history are so integral to the plot that one is as beholden to the fact as the fiction…History, though never emphasised at the expense of narrative, is brought thrillingly alive.’

‘Spence is a visionary.’