Magda Szabó was born in 1917 in Debrecen, Hungary. She began her literary career as a poet. In the 1950s she was silenced and 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 went on to win many literary awards, including the Attila József Prize in 1959 and 1972, and the Kossuth Prize, the most prestigious literary award in Hungary, in 1978. Szabó's novel, The Door, was originally published in Hungary in 1987, and Len Rix's translation has gone on to win the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. Magda Szabó died in 2007.