The Festival of Insignificance, the first novel in 13 years from The Unbearable Lightness of Being author Milan Kundera has just been published in English.

The book was first published in Italy in 2013, and it topped the book charts there, and in Spain, Germany and France.

The original press release from publishers Faber and Faber was brief, describing the tale as a, "wryly comic yet deeply serious glance at the ultimate insignificance of life and politics, told through the daily lives of four friends in modern-day Paris". 

The book's blurb enthuses about "a strange sort of laughter, inspired by our time, which is comical because it has lost all sense of humour." 

The 115-page novel - or perhaps, more properly, novella - begins: "It was the month of June, the morning sun was emerging from the clouds, and Alain was walking slowly down a Paris street."

Kundera was born in the Czech Republic in 1929, but he has lived in Paris since 1975, writing many of his works since in French, as was the case with the latest addition to his canon.

His best known novel is The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984) which was adapted for a highly-successful 1988 film, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliet Binoche and Lena Olin.