The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera

Inspired by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, this is a magical fusion of history, autobiography and ideas. ...more info on wikipedia

About the artist: Luciano Lozanofrom Spain

Luciano Lozano was born in Andalucia, Southern Spain, but he has been living in Barcelona for 5 years now. He is self-taught. “I’ve had many different jobs until I made an MA Illustration at Eina School in Barcelona in 2007. Since then I’ve participated in different courses with wonderful illustrators from whom I’ve learned a lot” he says. Luciano works as a full time Illustrator and publishes regularly in books and magazines. In 2011 he published Operation Alphabet, edited by Thames and Hudson in the UK and USA.

Why this work

“I chose this book because it’s one of my favourite youth authors. I’ve re-read this book again and I liked it even more than I remembered. It’s very clever and philosophic. I’ve used a different technique to what I normally use. I thought this had to capture the melancholy and poetry of the book. I drew a Czech stamp that I made up, but with a real former ruler, of whom the book talks about in the first chapter. He’s wearing the hat described in the book, as a metaphor of forgetting. The character is Pamina, a Czech immigrant who gives her body to a man she doesn’t love because she thinks he might help her recover the love letters from her husband, who is already dead. I interprete this as a metaphor of War: she is besieged in a way, surrounded by small soldiers. I wrote the title in French, although it was written in Czech, because this is the first book that Milan Kundera wrote in exile in France, where he still lives.”