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The Final Christmas, by Bem Le Hunte I wrote The Final Christmas as a literary accompaniment to a novel I published in 2000, The Seduction of Silence, a story of five generations of an Indian family. A spiritual and emotional journey that traversed 100 years, three continents, this life and the next, The Seduction of Silence flourished with untold stories that couldn’t fit between the jacket sleeves produced by HarperCollins and Penguin, my publishers. The abundance of excess narrative somehow demanded recording. The Final Christmas is just one of the stories that evolved out of my novel: it tells of how the British finally left India, having stayed as uninvited guests for over 200 years. In The Seduction of Silence every character had a complex relationship with the British, and so in The Final Christmas, each of them translates Nehru’s triumphant ‘Freedom at Midnight’ speech to fit their individual ideologies. I hope you enjoy this short story, and if you do, I’d love to hear what you think of this and The Seduction of Silence, should you be willing to share your response at www.bemlehunte.com. Happy reading and thank you so much for sharing these stories with me! Praise for The Seduction of Silence “The Seduction of Silence is a work of persuasive imagination, of such scope, power and narrative charm that it does make you wonder, as with Salman Rushdie and Rohinton Mistry and others, whether all good modern writing has an essential connection with the Indian sub-continent.” Thomas Keneally, Booker Prize winning author of Schindler’s List “A splendidly conceived saga weaving the history of an entire culture into the portrait of one family: vivid, compelling, utterly fascinating.” Kirkus Review, US. “Passion, grief and glory infuse this novel, which is at once wholly original and yet squarely in the tradition of the great family sagas. In prose as vivid and arresting as a marigold, Le Hunte gives us five generations of seekers. Her account of what they find and what they lose is irresistible. I couldn’t put it down.” Geraldine Brooks, Pullitzer Prize winning author of March “This intricate tale moves across continents and time as it maps the reaches of the soul. Is Le Hunte an Anglo-Indian Allende? Or even a female Rushdie? You decide in a very worthwhile read.” Helen Elliott, Vogue.