Books: Songs of Exile and Return

THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING by Milan Kundera, translated by Michael Henry Heim; Harper & Row; 314 pages; $15.95

In The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, published in the U.S. in 1980, Author Milan Kundera brilliantly fused passion and playfulness. That book's collection of seven loosely related stories danced around a central, somber event: the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. The resulting oppression halted the liberal reforms that blossomed during the famous Prague Spring of 1968 and eventually drove a number of intellectuals and artists, including Kundera, from their native country. Songs of exile are sad, by definition. Yet Kundera's added a comic...

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