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 Rushie and Rohinton Mistry and others, whether all good modern writing has an essential connection with the Indian sub-continent.” - Thomas Keneally – Booker Prize winner


“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 must lose is irresistible. I couldn’t put it down.” – Geraldine Brooks – Pulitzer Prize winner


"A brilliant new voice on the Australian scene, Bem Le Hunte's novel is sensational. Following the emotional and spiritual evolvement of five generations of an Indian family, Le Hunte weaves a spell over her readers. Enticing them with Himalayan mysticism, intriguing them with modern day spiritualism and moving them with a family tale of fulfilled destinies, and the heartbreak and triumph experienced along that astonishing path." - Todd Alexander, The Booklover


"While dealing with the usual Grand Themes beset by any family - love, sex, birth, migration, marriage, death - The Seduction of Silence is also suffused with the perfume of incense and filtered through a hazy religious tint. The melodramatics of familial /sexual love are elevated to a plane beyond kitchen sink banality by a rumbling spirituality that propels and antagonises the lives of Le Hunte's characters." - Thuy On, The Melbourne Age


"There's a core of achievement and a steely determination within her [BEM]. As there is within, and behind, her first novel, The Seduction of Silence. Touted by her publishers as 'the publishing sensation of the year', it's getting bells-and-whistles promotion. Such hyperbole usually whets critical appetites but this time the PR seems close to the mark." - Murray Waldren, The Australian


"The Seduction of Silence has merit on several levels, not only in the haunting nature of its characters but in its raw accounts of Indian life across the years - from the excesses of the Raj to the grimness of its grinding poverty. It is a novel which is a travel book which is a search for spirituality which is a commentary on gender roles. It is a many-layered feast of a book." - Samela Harris, Adelaide Advertiser


"Le Hunte's trans-continental, generational saga is a complex of ambition, esoterica, spiritual questing and down-home realities. Part family history, part Hindu chronicle, it's rambunctious, eccentric, otherworldly and carnal; literary with a potentially wider audience, it explores diverse spiritual and cultural values with a knowing humour." - Murray Waldron, The Australian


"With acute insight, she outlines the casual racism of the British in India, the strength of the women whose lives are arranged according to duty, and the search for the silence in the soul." - Kim Kitson, She Magazine


"Le Hunte's The Seduction of Silence is so strange and hauntingly beautiful that, being ignorant of Le Hunte's biography, one would assume it could only be the stuff of cultural dreams." - Samela Harris, Adelaide Advertiser


"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


"Deeply imagined and vividly told, Le Hunte announces herself as serious new talent."- Travellink


"Sometimes reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's classic One Hundred Years of Solitude." - Matt Dickinson, Herald Sun


"Le Hunte and her book, The Seduction of Silence, have all the ingredients for success." - Anne Susskind, The Bulletin


"Her phrasing is neat, often insightful and occasionally humorous, with a particular flavour delightfully evocative of Indian English." - Suzanna Clarke, Brisbane Courier Mail


"Passionate prose, which although lacking the mad pyrotechnics of Rushdie's wordplay, is nonetheless just as intense." - Thuy On, The Melbourne Age


“Le Hunte has crafted a rhapsodic tale, populated it with characters about whom the reader cares deeply, and told it in a narrative voice that is poised and alert, keenly observant but not overwrought.” – Phil Catalfo, Yoga Journal


“She manages to keep the tone so buoyant – with ample humour, skilful foreshadowing, and some wonderful phrasing – that this lengthy tale never loses energy. Le Hunte is a master storyteller with a knack for balance.” – Eva Kushner, Persimmon


"Le Hunte creates a vivid sense of place, spiking it with strange and haunting characters, none more so than the predatory eunuch called Bubbly who seeks to 'adopt' the illegitimate child of Tulsi Devi. And it is her tale which pierces the heart most deeply and points to the cruel shortcomings of old and rigid cultural ways." - Samela Harris, Adelaide Advertiser


"The novel is indeed very much a study of the collusion / cohesion of binary opposites: of otherworldly pilgrimages and down-to-earth trials; of vertigo-inducing mountain tops and contiguous London streets; of patriarchal imperialism and feminine strength." - Thuy On, The Melbourne Age


"Although few of us have the inclination to truly take on life as a journey - we should at least find reasons to read books such as this one." - Matt Dickinson, Herald Sun



Praise for There, Where the Pepper Grows


“Bem Le Hunte is quite simply a wonderful novelist. Drawing on her own rich background in India and the West she weaves a dazzling story that carries the scent of spices and the true sense of other lives. There Where the Pepper Grows is set amid the gathering darkness of wartime Poland and the almost unbearable brightness of Calcutta where a group of Jewish refugees finds an unlikely haven. It is above all a love story: one subtle enough to reveal the many ways in which love can be expressed throughout a lifetime.”

Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize Winner 2006


“It’s impossible to read There, Where the Pepper Grows and not be moved… in fact the heart of the book beats… it’s hard to imagine that this rich and dazzling story will not change all those who read it.”

David Gilchrist, The West Australian


The tapestry of Le Hunte’s sweeping story is intricately weaved, linking disparate cultures with desperate people in an unforgettable narrative.”

Jan Hallam, The Perth Sunday Times


“No reader could fail to be deeply moved by the plight and flight of Benjamin and his loved ones, and to be surprised and intrigued by the safe welcome they receive in warm, mothering India.”

Susan Kurosawa, The Australian


“There, Where the Pepper Grows is a moving story – and a prayer for tolerance as Australia confronts serious issues today about its treatment of refugees.”

Carlene Ellwood, Sunday Tasmanian