Her fiction shows the travails of modern Hungarian history from oblique but sharply illuminating angles . . . Szabo summons the cosy, closed world with a lyrical, quicksilver touch that makes the thuggish intrusions of despotic power all the more wrenching
This infectious coming-of-age novel from Szabó, released in 1970 and translated into English for the first time, is a rollicking delight . . . Szabó pairs the psychological insights reader will recognize from her novel The Door with action more akin to Harry Potter. Gina is one of Szabó's finest creations.
Len Rix's translation is empathetic and intuitive, capturing the sense of magic and adventure in the girls' school.
In English for the first time in a superb translation . . . Szabo's characters are vivid and amusingly authentic . . . Szabo is skilful, too, at creating moments of heart-rending tension, often through exquisite, evocative prose . . . the novel has a devastating power
Of all Szabó's novels, Abigail deserves the widest readership. It's an adventure story, brilliantly written.
Abigail demonstrates her enormous range . . . The pleasure of reading Szabo is partly dependent on her intricate plotting. This is especially true of Abigail . . . Szabo operates with the patience of an analyst allowing her characters to delineate the shape of their own wounds, to direct their own healing.
A school story for grownups that is also about our inability or refusal to protect children from history