Milan Kundera is a Czech novelist, short story writer, playwright, essayist, and poet whose work combines erotic comedy, political criticism, and philosophical speculation. Born in Brno in 1929, the son of a noted concert pianist and musicologist, Kundera studied music as a child but gradually gravitated toward writing, focusing on literature and eventually becoming a professor at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. An active member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in the fifties and sixties, Kundera moved to France in 1975, after which he was stripped of his Czech citizenship. Kundera is known best for his novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being, a story of several intellectuals and their affairs, both sexual and artistic, during the Prague Spring of 1968. The story incorporates a philosophical meditation on the fragile nature of individual fate, referencing, among other things, Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of eternal return. Other major novels include The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979) and Immortality (1990).