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.
- Hardback | 272 pages
- 144 x 223 x 23mm | 420g
- 20 Oct 2005
- Vintage Publishing
- HARVILL SECKER
- London, United Kingdom
"Improbably, you lose your heart and head to [The Door], which somehow cuts to the quick of everything that matters and does so in a voice which is, at the same time, materially straightforward and intensely hypnotic"
"Improbably, you lose your heart and head to [The Door], which somehow cuts to the quick of everything that matters and does so in a voice which is, at the same time, materially straightforward and intensely hypnotic" -- Simon Schama * Financial Times * "Szabo manages to conjure up as many cliffhangers as an Indiana Jones film. The Door is a triumph. Clever, moving, frightening, it deserves to be a bestseller" -- Tibor Fischer * Daily Telegraph * "One of Hungary's most important twentieth-century writers" * New York Times * "The Door is a deeply strange and equally affecting book, a dark domestic fairy tale about the relationship between a Hungarian writer, Magda, and her taciturn elderly housekeeper, Emerence" * New York Times * "No brief summary can do justice to the intelligence and moral complexity of this novel. I picked it up without expectation. I read it with gathering intensity, and a swelling admiration. I finished it, and straightaway started to read it again. It is unusual, original and utterly compelling" * Scotsman *
About Magda Szabo
Magda Szabo was born in 1917 in Debrecen, Hungary. She began her literary career as a poet. In the 1950s she disappeared from the publishing scene for political reasons and made her living by teaching and translating from French and English. She began writing novels, and in 1978 was awarded the Kossuth Prize, the most prestigious literary award in Hungary. Magda Szabo died in 2007.