By Jyothi Swaroop Makena

17th July, 2023

Some Of Milan Kundera's Must-Read Books

Milan Kundera, (born April 1, 1929, Brno, Czechoslovakia [now in Czech Republic]—died July 11, 2023, Paris, France), is a Czech novelist, short-story writer, playwright, essayist, and poet whose works combine erotic comedy with political criticism and philosophical speculation.


Here's are some of Milan Kundera's must-read books

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1978) is the novel that brought Czech-born Milan Kundera his first big international success. Aaron Asher's new translation, commissioned and monitored by Kundera himself, conveys beautifully into English the nuances and the tone of the author's original text.

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

It is about two women, two men, a dog, and their lives in the 1968 Prague Spring period of Czechoslovak history. Although written in 1982, the novel was not published until two years later, in a French translation (as L'insoutenable légèreté de l'être). It is considered to be one of his greatest works.

Identity: A Novel

Of all contemporary writers, only Kundera can transform such a hidden and disconcerting perception into the material for a novel, one of his finest, most painful, and most enlightening. Which, surprisingly, turns out to be a love story.

The Joke

The Joke was first published and several years after the collapse of the Soviet-imposed Czechoslovak regime, it becomes easier to put such implications into perspective in favor of valuing the book (and all Kundera 's work) as what it truly is: great, stirring literature that sheds new light on the eternal themes of human existence.

Kundera was awarded the 1985 Jerusalem Prize, in 1987 the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, and the 2000 Herder Prize. In 2021, he received the Golden Order of Merit from the president of Slovenia, Borut Pahor. Kundera died after a prolonged illness, in Paris on 11 July 2023, at the age of 94.