"After Farewell Waltz there cannot be any doubt. Kundera is a master of contemporary literature. This novel is both an an example of virtuosity and a descent into the human soul." —L'Unite
Set in an old-fashioned Central European spa town, Farewell Waltz poses the most serious questions with a blasphemous lightness that makes us see that the modern world has deprived us even of the right to tragedy.
In this dark farce of a novel, eight characters are swept up in an accelerating dance: a pretty nurse and her repairman boyfriend; an oddball gynecologist; a rich American (at once saint and Don Juan); a popular trumpeter and his beautiful, obsessively jealous wife; and an disillusioned former political prisoner about to leave his country and his young woman ward. It is perhaps the most brilliantly plotted and sheer entertaining of Milan Kundera's novels.
Written in Bohemia in 1969-70, the book was first published (in 1976) in France under the title La valse aux adieux (Farewell Waltz), and later in thirty-four other countries. This beautiful translation, made from the French text prepared by the novelist himself, fully reflects Kundera's own tone and intentions, and offers an opportunity for both the discovery and the rediscovery of one of the very best of a great writer's works.
The Franco-Czech novelist Milan Kundera (1929 - 2023) was born in Brno and lived in France, his second homeland, since 1975. He is the author of the novels The Joke, Life Is Elsewhere, Farewell Waltz, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Immortality, and the short story collection Laughable Loves—all originally in Czech. His later novels, Slowness, Identity, Ignorance, and The Festival of Insignificance, as well as his nonfiction works, The Art of the Novel, Testaments Betrayed, The Curtain, and Encounter, were originally written in French.
"Kundera remains faithful to this subtle, wily, devious talent for a fiction of 'erotic possibilities.'" — New York Times Book Review
"Farewell Waltz shocks. Black humor. Farcical ferocity. Admirably tender portraits of women." — Le Pointe (Paris)
"After Farewell Waltz there cannot be any doubt. Kundera is a master of contemporary literature. This novel is both an an example of virtuosity and a descent into the human soul." — L'Unite