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His books have been translated into many languages.In his first novel, The Joke (1967), he gave a satirical account of the nature of totalitarianism in the Communist era.He and writer Jan Trefulka were expelled from the party for "anti-party activities." Trefulka described the incident in his novella Pršelo jim štěstí (Happiness Rained On Them, 1962).

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Kundera's second novel was first published in French as La vie est ailleurs in 1973 and in Czech as Život je jinde in 1979.

Set in Czechoslovakia before, during and after the Second World War, Life Is Elsewhere is a satirical portrait of the fictional poet Jaromil, a young and very naive idealist who becomes involved in political scandals. There he published The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979) which told of Czech citizens opposing the communist regime in various ways.

In an infinite universe, everything is guaranteed to recur infinitely.

In 1988, American director Philip Kaufman released a film adaptation. The novel, his last in Czech, was more cosmopolitan than its predecessors, as well as more explicitly philosophical and less political. The 2014 novel focuses on the musings of four male friends living in Paris.

This brief period of reformist activities was crushed by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968.

Kundera remained committed to reforming Czech communism, and argued vehemently in print with fellow Czech writer Václav Havel, saying, essentially, that everyone should remain calm and that "nobody is being locked up for his opinions yet," and "the significance of the Prague Autumn may ultimately be greater than that of the Prague Spring." Finally, however, Kundera relinquished his reformist dreams and moved to France in 1975.

Kundera was quick to criticize the Soviet invasion in 1968.

This led to his blacklisting in Czechoslovakia and his works being banned there.

He completed his secondary school studies in Brno at Gymnázium třída Kapitána Jaroše in 1948.

He studied literature and aesthetics at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague.

Kundera's best-known work is The Unbearable Lightness of Being.