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Staff Pick: The Door by Magda Szabo

This is a remarkable novel about the relationship between two women, a writer and her servant, set in Budapest in the 1960s. In beautiful prose, the author describes decades of the complex and often bizarre lives of Magda and Emerence, pushing the reader to reflect on many issues, particularly intimacy and respect.

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From the publisher:

The Door is an unsettling exploration of the relationship between two very different women. Magda is a writer, educated, married to an academic, public-spirited, with an on-again-off-again relationship to Hungary's Communist authorities. Emerence is a peasant, illiterate, impassive, abrupt, seemingly ageless. She lives alone in a house that no one else may enter, not even her closest relatives. She is Magda's housekeeper and she has taken control over Magda's household, becoming indispensable to her. And Emerence, in her way, has come to depend on Magda. They share a kind of love at least until Magda's long-sought success as a writer leads to a devastating revelation.

Len Rix's prizewinning translation of The Door at last makes it possible for American readers to appreciate the masterwork of a major modern European writer. New York Review of Books, $16.95

Posted in: Connie Fiction