Paris: Renowned novelist Milan Kundera is again a citizen of his homeland the Czech Republic which (the undivided Czechoslovakia) he left in 1975. After 40 years, following a visit by the Czech Prime Minister to his Paris home last year, the Czech ambassador to France Petr Drulak went to Kundera’s Paris apartment last week and handed him a citizenship certificate.
The 90-year-old Kundera’s reaction however is not known, as he refrained from talking to reporters for a long time. It may be mentioned that after he and his wife went to France for a short stint at a university, they preferred to stay back. The communist government revoked Kundera’s citizenship in 1979, and in 1981 he became a French citizen.
Kundera was awarded the Czech national literature prize in 2008, but did not attend the ceremony. Even after the fall of the Communist government and division of the erstwhile Czechoslovakia, he didn’t visit his homeland.
In fact, Czechoslovak authorities banned Kundera’s books and revoked his citizenship after he became critical of the Communist regime in his new books published in France since 1979. He is best known for his novel “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” which became an international bestseller when it was published in 1984. He has been considered for the Nobel Prize for Literature several times.