March 16: Magda Szabo, The Door (1987)
Well known laureate in her native Hungary, Szabo has just begun to be known here in the States. In this tightly written work we see the love and hate relationship of the intellectual writer-narrator with Emerence, the uncouth, perhaps illiterate maid who takes care of her house and takes over her life, including her dog, Viola. The work asks us where real wisdom and understanding lies. Love, as the song says, is the answer. How we get there and what lies behind The Door are at the heart of this novel about the relationship between mind and heart.