An unauthorised biography of Milan Kundera that hits the shelves on Friday casts the celebrated Czech-born writer in a decidedly unflattering light – as an undeniably gifted novelist whose obsessive need to control his image stems in part from a desire to whitewash some very dark chapters of his personal history. Award-winning author Jan Novák spent four years working on the 900-page biography, which some critics have slammed as a biased, politically motivated attack – in short, a hatchet job. Novák says he approached his subject with an open mind but was “shocked” by what he discovered and is “absolutely convinced” Kundera denounced a Czech agent for Western intelligence in 1950.

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