Czech-born French writer and essayist Milan Kundera died on Wednesday at the age of 94. Kundera wrote countless works throughout his life.
The writer grew up in Communist-controlled Czechoslovakia. He became known for literary works such as "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "The Joke", which was adapted into a movie by US director Philip Kaufman. Criticizing the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia and blacklisted by the government, he was eventually banned and exiled to Paris.
Kundera, who first wrote his literature in Czech, translated his early works into French himself and began writing in that language after moving to France in 1975.
The son of a musician, Kundera studied music and became a songwriter before turning to satire. In his early works he used overtly political themes. Later, when he began to tackle more ideological and philosophical subjects instead, his writing took on a softer tone.
Originally from Brno, Kundera had become a recluse in recent years, claiming that writers should mainly talk about their work. He had refused to give interviews since the late 1980s, expressing a desire to "disappear behind his work and give up the role of a public figure".
In 2019, the author regained his Czech citizenship and a library was created in his name, containing some 4,000 publications.