Front Cover
Fourth Estate, 2012 - College stories - 428 pages
21 Reviews

A riveting novel that explores the high price of success in the life of one woman, and her hold upon her self-identity in the face of personal and professional demons, from Joyce Carol Oates, author of the "New York Times" bestseller "A Widow's Story."

Mudgirl is a child abandoned by her mother in the silty flats of the Black Snake River. Cast aside, Mudgirl survives by an accident of fate--or destiny. Meredith "M.R." Neukirchen is the first woman president of an Ivy League university, but she is confronted with challenges to her leadership which test her in ways she could not have anticipated. The fierce idealism and intelligence that delivered her from a more conventional life in her upstate New York hometown now threaten to undo her. A reckless trip upstate will thrust M.R. into an unexpected psychic collision with Mudgirl and the life M.R. believes she has left behind. A powerful exploration of the enduring claims of the past, "Mudwoman" explores the tension between childhood and adulthood, the real and the imagined, and the "public" and "private" in the life of a highly complex contemporary woman.

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Ms Oates' writing was lovely, poetic almost. - Goodreads
The ending of the book was rather unsatisfying. - Goodreads
My admiration of this great writer remains unwavering. - Goodreads
But the writing stopped me caring about where that was. - Goodreads
The plot is an unredeeming effort. - Goodreads

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Maryka - LibraryThing

Mudwoman drew me in quickly with its incredibly unique character and circumstances. I found the story of an abused girl's beginnings altogether believable in its depth. The story moved quickly and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - elmoelle - LibraryThing

The main character of this book, Meredith, is the first female president of Princeton [or at least of an unnamed ivy league school in New Jersey]. At the beginning, she is capable and busy, rushing to ... Read full review

About the author (2012)

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her books include We Were the Mulvaneys; Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award; and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. In 2003 she received the Commonwealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature, and in 2006 she received the Chicago Tribune Lifetime Achievement Award. Her recent work of non-fiction on grief and bereavement, A Widow's Story was a critically-acclaimed success.

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