November 20, 2007 / 10:28 AM / 12 years ago

Leading Hungarian author Szabo dies aged 90

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Magda Szabo, one of Hungary’s most famous authors, died on Monday aged 90, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

Szabo won Hungary’s top literary award, the Kossuth Prize, in 1978. She died while reading at home in the eastern city of Debrecen where she was born, MTI said.

Szabo’s works have been translated into German, French, English and many other languages. She was banned from publishing from 1949 under Hungary’s communist dictator Matyas Rakosi and dismissed from her post in the education ministry.

Her first novel to be published after the ban was lifted was “Fresco” in 1958.

Szabo’s 1980 novel “The Door” was re-translated into English in 2005 and won rave reviews. It describes the relationship between an author who wins a literary prize and her bad-tempered elderly housekeeper.

“We all loved her. We read her works to bits, enjoyed her stories, rejoiced about her awards. We were proud of her,” the Ministry of Culture and Education said in a statement.

Reporting by David Chance; editing by Robert Woodward

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