By (author)  , Translated by 

Free delivery worldwide

Available soon, pre-order now.
When will my order arrive?


From the author of The Door, a beloved coming-of-age tale set in WWII-era Hungary. Abigail, the story of a plucky teenager growing up during World War II, is the most beloved of Magda Szabó's books in her native Hungary. Gina is the only child of a general, a widower who has long been happy to spoil his bright and wilful daughter. Gina is devastated when the general tells her that he must go away on a mission and that he will be sending her to boarding school in the country. She doesn't understand why her father won't tell her where he is going or why he insists that she must not seek to get in touch with him under any circumstances, and she is aghast at the grim religious institution to which she soon finds herself consigned. She fights with her fellow students, she rebels against her teachers, and when she finds herself completely ostracized by all and sundry, she runs away. Caught and brought back and subjected to even sterner disciplinary measures, there is nothing for Gina to do except entrust her fate to the legendary Abigail, as the classical statue of a woman with an urn that stands on the schoolgrounds has come to be called. If you're in trouble, it's said, leave a message with Abigail, and help will be on the way. And for Gina, who is in much deeper trouble than she could possibly suspect, a life-changing adventure is only beginning. Abigail is told in Gina's own voice, and if Gina emerges from its pages as someone who has a lot to learn about life it also becomes clear that she is up to the task. Szabó surrounds her intrepid, if not always insightful, heroine with characters who are no less memorable, among them the austere and beautiful teacher Susanna and her colleagues, bumbling König, who always seems to be in the wrong place at the right time, and the suavely handsome Kalman. There is something of Jane Austen in this story of the deceptiveness of appearances; fans of JK Rowling are sure to enjoy Szabó's picture of irreverent students, eccentric teachers, and boarding school life. Above all, however, Abigail is a thrilling tale of suspense.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 360 pages
  • 127 x 203mm | 368g
  • English
  • 168137403X
  • 9781681374031
  • 830,974

About Magda Szabo

Magda Szabó (1917-2007) is considered one of Hungary's greatest novelists. Her novels, dramas, essays, and poetry have been published in forty-two countries and in 2003 she was awarded the Prix Femina Étranger for The Door. The NYRB Classics edition of The Door was selected as one of the The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2015. NYRB Classics also publishes Szabó's novels Iza's Ballad and Katalin Street. Len Rix is a poet, critic, and former literature professor. In 2006, he was awarded the Oxford-Weidendfeld Translation Prize for his translation of Magda Szabó's The Door.
show more