The Door


the-door-szaboFar from new, “The Door” by Magda Szabó is the most exciting fiction I’ve read in months. It was reissued in 2015 (originally published in Hungary in 1987). If Szabó had not died in 2007, she would be on my read everything that comes out list. I’m belatedly discovering her and it was worth the wait.

The main character is Emerence, Magda’s housecleaner and perfect foil. Magda happens to be a writer living in Hungary. I’m still struggling to articulate even to myself why I find this book so powerful. Perhaps it’s the almost Flannery O’Connor-esque epiphanies Magda experiences as a direct consequence of her relationship with Emerence. It goes back to the simple truth that we become ourselves through others and are made who we are by the people we love. Szabó beautifully captures that simple human truth.

Nicole Charbonnet


One Response to “The Door”

  1. I agree. I found Szabó’s writing beautiful and haunting. Even though I still think about “The Door” months after reading it, it’s hard to convey why it moved me as much as it did.

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