Splendidly rendered by Len Rix ... Szabó has created a character of defiant complexity and perverse, utterly plausible self-destructiveness ... The Fawn refuses any clear political agenda: intimate, contradictory, elusive, Eszter’s confession to her lover resists coherent—official!—narrative. Szabó’s psychological acuity, amply on display in her later novels, is thoroughly present here too, despite the novel’s reliance on febrile midcentury melodrama.
Traps the reader in the unsparing mind of Eszter ... Some of these confidences don’t make sense on first reading, an effect that yields a sense of both closeness and distance to the character – a dynamic that mirrors Eszter’s tendency to push people away. Len Rix, the translator of three other novels by Szabó (1917–2007), renders Eszter’s blunt, merciless narration in smoothly cold prose ... The impression is of a skewed fairy tale ... What distinguishes this novel from being a fairy tale – inverted or otherwise – is its psychological complexity.