Milan Kundera

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Sean Hughes

They were Irish comedy’s equivalent of the Famous Five, though nobody ever called them that. Michael Redmond, Kevin McAleer, Ian MacPherson, Owen O’Ne(...)

Colm Toibin: ‘I was editor of Magill at 27. I wrote my first novel as a way of keeping the daily business of Garret Fitzgerald and Charlie Haughey and all those stories at bay.’ Photograph: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI

Colm Tóibín is not just famous; he has a public persona. The red-framed spectacles that hang round the writer’s neck are not quite so well known as(...)

Zsuzsanna Zsohar, of  Migration Aid, helps migrants at Nyugati  station, Budapest. Photograph: Daniel McLaughlin

Zsuzsanna Zsohar has gained much from helping migrants who are moving through Hungary in unprecedented numbers. She now has friends from distant land(...)

Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer and Shakespeare all have a role in literary showman Czech-born, Paris-based Milan Kundera’s first novel in 13 years. It is a(...)

Emily Dickinson: Miss Emily by Nuala Ní Chonchúir, above, (August, Sandstone) looks at the life of the famously reclusive poet through the eyes of 18-year-old Ada Concannon, her Irish maid. Photograph: Emilia Krysztofiak

Things We Have in Common, Tasha Kavanagh (May, Canongate) Yasmin Laksaris is the obese teenage narrator of the English author Tasha Kavanagh’s (...)

Britain’s Jenny Meadows has run four of the five quickest 800m times in the world this season

Anyone who has woken up to an early spring sunrise over the ancient city of Prague must feel this great sense of wonder. Not only did the fragile skyl(...)

Bartholomew Ryan: ‘I see the great poets like Yeats and Wordsworth and Fernando Pessoa as loafing heroes.’ Photograph: Luis Barra

The Loafing Heroes sing the poetry of WB Yeats and TS Eliot, and the subject matter of their songs ranges from Irish revolutionary heroes to the de(...)

Rob Doyle: “I’m grateful to the authors of shorter books, because my concentration is shot from the internet and all the coffee”

Rob Doyle was born in Dublin, and holds a first-class honours degree in Philosophy and an MPhil in Psychoanalysis from Trinity College Dublin. His (...)

Hassan Blasim: described by the Guardian as “perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive”. Photograph: Katja Bohm

For the first time in its 24-year history, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has been won by an Arab writer, Hassan Blasim, for his second short s(...)

Bounded by books: Ivan Klíma. Photograph: Tomas Krist/Isifa/Getty
The limits of dissent
  • Books
  • May 3, 2014, 01:00

On his second visit to Prague, in the spring of 1973, Philip Roth met several dissident writers, including Milan Kundera, Ivan Klíma, Ludvík Va(...)