Milan Kundera, born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, was a student when the Czech Communist regime was established in 1948 and later worked as a laborer, jazz musician, and professor at the Institute for Advanced Cinematographic Studies in Prague. After the Russian invasion in August 1968, his books were proscribed. In 1975, he and his wife settled in France, and in 1981, he became a French citizen.
He is the author of the novels The Joke; Life is Elsewhere, Farewell Waltz, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Immortality, and of the short-story collection Laughable Loves - all originally in Czech. His most recent novels, Slowness, Identity, and Ignorance, as well as his non-fiction work The Art of the Novel and Testaments Betrayed, was originally written in French.