Alison Flood in The Guardian:
Milan Kundera, the Czech author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being and perennial candidate for the Nobel prize in literature, will publish his first novel in 13 years this summer.
Faber will release Kundera’s The Festival of Insignificance, translated from the original French by Linda Asher, on 18 June. The short work was first published in Italy in 2013, and has since topped charts in Italy, Spain and France.
“No, dear cynics, the novel is not dead,” ran a review in L’Express last year. “We have in France one of the greatest contemporary writers. He is called Milan Kundera, and you must read his new book as soon as possible – it could be his last, and it is magnificent, sunny, profound and funny.”
This publication will be the work’s first release in English. Kundera’s previous novel, Ignorance, was published in English in 2002 and in French in 2000.
Faber described the new book as a “wryly comic yet deeply serious glance at the ultimate insignificance of life and politics, told through the daily lives of four friends in modern-day Paris”. Said chief executive Stephen Page: “It feels incredibly relevant to the world we live in now. It’s very funny, and also quite surreal … It’s hard with an author of Kundera’s stature to talk about his best work, but this is a significant novel, an important work.”