Magda Szabó: Biography

Magda Szabó

05 okt 1917

Hungary’s foremost woman novelist Magda Szabo was born on Oct 5, 1917 in Debrecen, Austria – Hungary. Talented Magda was a poet, dramatist, essayist, novelist and also an actress. She graduated as a teacher of Latin and Hungarian from the University of Debrecen and started to pursue her career as a teacher.

Magda Szabo started to write in the form of Poetry. Her first book, ‘Barany (Lamb)’ was published in 1947 and the next book, ‘Vissza az emberig (Back to the Human)’ was published in 1949. Magda married Tibor Szobotka in 1947. Tibor was also a writer and translator. Magda’s works were banned from publication during the Stalinist rule covering the period 1949 to 1956.

Magda’s first novel, ‘Fresko’ published in 1958 turned to be a huge success. The British readers recognised her as the author of ‘Az Ajto’ translated in English as ‘The Door’. Magda’s few works that topped the 100 were ‘Fur Elise’, ‘An Old-Fashioned Story’, ‘The Door’, ‘As a Szep, fenyes nap ‘and ‘Tunder Lala’.

‘Abigel’ was one of Magda’s popular novels which were made a television series in 1978. This novel was also chosen as the 6th most popular novel at the Hungarian version of Big Read. Magda has been honoured with various awards in Hungary. She won the French Literary Prize Prix Femina Etranger for the best foreign novel in 2003.

Considered to be one of the giants of contemporary Hungarian literature, Magda Szabo’s works were published in almost 42 countries. Multi-talented Magda Szabo died on Nov 19, 2007 in Kerepes, Hungary.