Last Word

The best-selling novel that languished in publisher's drawer for 36 years

The story behind Nobel literature laureate José Saramago's posthumous novel is nothing short of a writerly Christmas miracle

22 December 2019 - 00:00

It’s the end of the year and I think we’re all ready for a break and a rest from wrangling and thinking and arguing and worrying. Not everyone gets a break and not everyone can stop worrying, but I hope you can. I would like to present you, as my final offering of the year, with a Christmas story that makes me very happy.

Like all good Christmas stories it starts unhappily and ends well, and holds out the hope that perhaps nothing is ever truly lost and that sometimes miracles happen and everyone gets what they deserve. It goes like this:..

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