Milan Kundera (1929)

Kundera, of Czech origin, has lived in exile in France since 1975 and became a naturalized citizen in 1981. Kundera’s best-known works are The Unbearable Lightness of Being and The Joke. His books were banned by the Communist regimes of Czechoslovakia until the downfall of the regime in the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Kundera’s father was studying music at Leoš Janáček, was an important Czech musicologist and pianist who served as the head of the Janáček Music Academy in Brno from 1948 to 1961.

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Bohumil Hrabal (1914 – 1997)

Among other books, Hrabal wrote two internationally acclaimed hits: Closely Watched Trains (also translated as Closely Observed Trains, on which the...