Milan Kundera donates his archive to his native town

Milan Kundera, the author of “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and many other acclaimed novels, will donate his private library and archive to a public library in Brno, the city where he was born and spent his childhood, news wires reported. The entire collection will be transported from Kundera’s apartment in Paris to the Moravian Library in Brno in the fall.

Czech Culture Minister Lubomir Zaoralek welcomed the move, calling it “an extraordinary cultural event.” The donated items include editions of Kundera’s books in Czech and some 40 other languages, articles written by and about him, published reviews and criticism of his work, newspapers clippings, authorised photographs and drawings by the author. Everything will be made available to the public, mostly in digital versions, the library said.

Kundera fled communist Czechoslovakia and has lived in France since 1975. There he published his most famous books, including “The Book of Laughter and Forgetting" (1979), “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” (1984), “The Art of the Novel” (1986) and “Immortality” (1990). The author lives in virtual seclusion, only travels to his homeland incognito and never speaks to reporters.

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