Novelist, born in Brno, S Czech Republic. He studied in Prague, and lectured in cinematographic studies there until he lost his post after the Russian invasion of 1968. His first novel, Zert (1967, The Joke), was a satire on Czechoslovakian-style Stalinism. In 1975 he fled to Paris, where he has lived ever since, taking French nationality in 1981. He came to prominence in the West with Kniha smichu a zapomneni (1979, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting). Nesnesitelna lehkost byti (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) appeared in 1984, and was filmed in 1987. Immortality (1991) is set in his adoptive France. Later novels include Testaments Betrayed (1995), Identity (1998), and La Ignorancia (2001).
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