The Door is a novel by Hungarian writer Magda Szabó. The novel concerns the developing relationship between a young Hungarian writer and her. One of The New York Times Book Review’s “10 Best Books of ” An NYRB Classics Original The Door is an unsettling exploration of the relationship. The Door continues to be eerily resonant, as Szabó’s consideration of the changing sociopolitical terrain in s–s Hungary speaks across borders of time.

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Humankind has come a long way since its beginnings and people of the future won’t be able to imagine the barbaric early days in which we fought with one another, in groups or individually, over little more than a cup of cocoa. Even her nephew does not know her secrets until later. This was the first time ths had required references from us. August The Door Spoiler 13 47 Aug 30, And all of a sudden, we see Emerence as the traumatized nine-year-old little girl hiding inside the bravado and toughness of the ageing housekeeper.

During the tthe of this award winning novel, the readers experience post life in post Holocaust Hungary as well as the baggage that survivors carry with them. But, because I wanted to review it, I kept the book in the front of my mind and over time a deeper truth began to emerge for me.

The author communicated her thoughts and regrets directly with the reader, which makes it a great experience. If I were the novelist, I would fear the housekeeper more than love her.

Emerence as the 20th Century Magda figures Emerence was born door As I write this, I realize there is also a third level. We feel her bitterness when she tells Magda: An eighty something year old woman applies for the job and arrives for the interview. Emerence very nearly recovers, but when she finds out that Magda betrayed her secret by letting the whole street into her closely guarded home, Emerence loses her will to live.

As the story progresses, her tye and passion to help becomes clear, extinguishing any doubts arising out of her bizarre behaviour. She feeds all the neighborhood sick, sweeps all doorsteps; nothing human and in need is alien to this woman who has hidden refugees across the board from Fascist to Communist. With no formal agreement on hours or responsibilities, Emerence might be absent for days, only to appear late at night and then scrub the kitchen or pantry till dawn, or render the bathroom out of bounds for a day and a half because she has rugs soaking in the tub.


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Invece siamo nella capitale, a Pest per la precisione. She had a belief in animal purity “They can’t inform on us, or tell lies about us”while never questioning her way of beating animals into near-senseless submission. The narrator, a writer, has made accommodations with the government, though these are not spelled out. Despite the grief and despair occurred over a lifetime, Emerence has accumulated a neighborhood of admirers who see nothing but the Emerence who sweeps the streets, maintains an apartment building, and cares for others in their homes, including Magda.

Try to forget her. Apr 08, Karen rated it really liked it. Her personality is magnetic, raising conflicting feelings, impregnating the reader’s memory with a powerful image that lasts.

The Door by Magda Szabó

Emerence, the said help, seems to be more in charge than her supposed employers. She suffers no fools and abjures education, religion, pretense.

They could say the same about Romanians, too; what the heck, we are questioning our place in art history ourselves! For, as she tells us, at the very beginning: She also puts Magda and her husband through ,agda ringer many times with her very unorthodox behaviour and her incredibly bossy and caustic ways.

And it is in this present that, at the close of the first chapter, Magda confesses: Magda is a writer, privileged “I know now, what I didn’t then, that affection can’t always be expressed in tue, orderly, articulate ways; and that one cannot prescribe the form it should magea for anyone else.

Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: However, the heart of the heart of this tale centers around Magda and older Emerence, an illiterate woman of peasant stock with almost superhuman strength and endurance for work in the service of others.

We are in a Tge village and listen in as an established author by the name of Magda dior her experience over the course of twenty years, from, say, about toliving in a large apartment with her husband, a university instructor, and dog.

Discover Prime Book Box for Kids. The book is written in the first person coor a memory. How will you conduct yourself in your quest dior be xoor authentic writer, and what are the costs to the people who care for you?


Between and she was working maggda the Ministry of Religion and Education. Together, they experience all the drama of the neighbourhood, including the suicide of Pollet, one of Emerence’s three close female friends. But this tireless woman never permitted her dedication to her neighbors to slacken – among her many chores: Did one of them manage to possess and kneel the other?

It is unusual, original, and utterly compelling. I ended up really liking this deep and narrow novel. While she appeared to be non-judgmental and magnanimous in her treatment of humanity at large, I found her to be just the opposite with those that were the closest to her, including both Magda and even the dog, Viola.

Much more than the story of a rocky relationship between two different women, The Door is most of all a tale of discovery and conquest of a monumental personality. What do each owe the other in this relationship? Almost the whole novel gravitates around Emerence; slowly, we come to know her through the words of the Lady writer who hired her. Written inthe Door tells the story of the strange and complicated relationship between two strong women of opposing backgrounds and personalities: View all 46 comments.

Labours of love

She does much of the domestic work required to run several households, but on her own damn time. I have thought of this book on and off for the magfa few days, it is brilliantly written and packs a powerful punch. Especially one they call a friend. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Not Plot Driven Magda Szabo was a bestselling author in her native Hungary and The Door,originally published inwas considered one of her strongest books. When Emerence reminiscences her past while she stitchesI cry ; when she reprimands either Viola or the writer and shows a speck of her blooming affection ; I smile and when her eccentricities peak with obnoxious childish acts ; I laugh.

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