The editors of the newspaper’s book section put together a list last Sunday about the best books of 2015. The Door by Magda Szabó got onto the list of the top ten books of 2015!

According to, the critic of New York Times calls Magda Szabó one of the most important Hungarian writers of the 20th century and that “with a mix of dark humour and an almost uncanny sense of the absurd, she traces the treacherous course of a country’s history, and the tragic course of a life.”

This is not the first time that the book is read in the USA, this is more of a rediscovery and it got to its rightful place with the new edition of the novel. It has been published once but only by a small publisher. Then, after the awards of the French edition and the writer’s international success, Len Rix translated the novel for a British publisher in 2005. This version was published in the beginning of this year.

The summary of the book by

“A busy young writer struggling to cope with domestic chores hires a housekeeper recommended by a friend. The housekeeper’s reputation is one built on dependable efficiency, though she is something of an oddity. Stubborn, foul-mouthed and with a flagrant disregard for her employer’s opinions she may even be crazy. She allows no-one to set foot inside her house; she masks herself with a veil and is equally guarded about her personal life. And yet Emerence is revered as much as she is feared. As the story progresses her energy and passion to help becomes clear, extinguishing any doubts arising out of her bizarre behaviour. A stylishly told tale which recounts a strange relationship built up over 20 years between a writer and her housekeeper. After an unpromising and caustic start benign feelings develop and ultimately the writer benefits from what becomes an inseparable relationship. Simultaneously we learn Emerence’s tragic past which is revealed in snapshots throughout the book.”

Read New York Times’ review here:

Translated by Alexandra Béni
Based on the article of


Copy editor: bm 


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