Renowned Hungarian author Magda Szabó’s (1917-2007) 1987 novel “The Door”, first published in English in Stefan Draughon’s translation in 1995 and retranslated by Len Rix ten years later, has now been republished in the New York Review of Books (NYRB) Classics series to enormous acclam. The Hungarian novelist’s book was praised in a lengthy New York Times article by author Claire Messud.
In her highly positive review, Ms. Messud expresses her surprise that Magda Szabó’s masterpiece has remained virtually unknown to the English-speaking public for so long, which, she says, raises the question of how many literary masterpieces fail to attract attention. “I’ve been haunted by this novel. Szabo’s lines and images come to my mind unexpectedly, and with them powerful emotions. It has altered the way I understand my own life”, she writes in The New York Times. The review certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed, with NYRB Classics reporting through Twitter that the book is now out of stock with soime online retailers.
The novel, which tells the story of a developing relationship between a young Hungarian writer and her cleaner, is partly autographical of Ms. Szabó. A movie version of the highly successful novel, directed by István Szabó and starring Helen Mirren, was produced in 2012.