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Magdafeszt 2021

Since the 100th anniversary of the birth of Magda Szabó in 2017, Debrecen has celebrated the author with an annual event known as Magdafeszt, taking place each year between the 1st and 5th October.

The author is a national hero in Hungary and her most significant works are known internationally. 


Abigail, written in 1970, is about a headstrong girl growing during the war,  this was later turned into a tv series. The translated version of Abigail published by NYRB Classics was reviewed (Jan 2020) in both the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times

The Doors (1987), which is about an unusual relationship built up over 20 years between a writer and her housekeeper, the book was adapted for a movie starring  Helen Mirren was released in 2012.

While there is a busy program, of particular note for our readers is the exhibition entitled Paraphrases by the actress and artist Júlia Básti László Fazakas, which starts on October 1st at 5 pm on Csapó Street.

The award-winning actress decided to reproduce famous paintings with a smartphone, using various applications, objects found in her home, some make-up, skillful post-production, and lots and lots of creativity. “Back in March 2020, at the beginning of the quarantine, I saw an imitation of a painting on the net and found it exciting. Then the Museum of Fine Arts also launched an online competition, they waited for a paraphrase every week, the best ones won, so I also submitted one and won with it. That was my St. Roch paraphrase. From then on, the genre pulled in. ”

In addition, events of a more international flavor will be held. On October 3rd, Németh Hajnal’s film installation Simultan City, will open, she is a media artist living in Berlin. The festival will also honor the author and director Gianina Cărbunariu, who is one of the most exciting creators of contemporary Romanian theater. The Oradea troupe brings Cărbunariu, The Tiger, and the author also holds a workshop for Csokonai actors.