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Harper Collins, Mar 20, 2012 - Fiction - 480 pages
19 Reviews

A riveting novel that explores the high price of success in the life of one woman—the first female president of a lauded ivy league institution—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. After her rescue, the well-meaning couple who adopt Mudgirl quarantine her poisonous history behind the barrier of their middle-class values, seemingly sealing it off forever. But the bulwark of the present proves surprisingly vulnerable to the agents of the past.

Meredith “M.R.” Neukirchen is the first woman president of an Ivy League university. Her commitment to her career and moral fervor for her role are all-consuming. Involved with a secret lover whose feelings for her are teasingly undefined, and concerned with the intensifying crisis of the American political climate as the United States edges toward war with Iraq, M.R. is confronted with challenges to her leadership that 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 thrusts M.R. Neukirchen 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 is at once a psychic ghost story and an intimate portrait of a woman cracking the glass ceiling at enormous personal cost, which 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
But the writing stopped me caring about where - Goodreads
The plot is an unredeeming effort. - Goodreads

Review: Mudwoman

User Review  - Ray - Goodreads

Every time I read a Jonathan Franzen novel I get pissed off on behalf of Anne Tyler. She covers many of the same themes that Franzen seems obsessed with. And while she is highly praised, she pales ... Read full review

Review: Mudwoman

User Review  - Joan - Goodreads

Just got nothing out of this book. Gave up abpout halfway through. It wasn't worth investing more time to find out what happened when she was young. Read full review


Mudgirl in the Land of Moriah
Mudwomans Joumev The Black River Cafe
Mudwomans Triumph
Mudgirl Reclaimed Mudgirl Renamed
Mudwoman Fallen Mudwoman Arisen
Mudgirl in Foster Care Mudgirl Receives a Gift
And Mudwoman Makes a Discoverv
Mudgirl Has a New Home
Mudwoman Flung to Earth
Mudwoman Bride
Mudwoman Finds a Home
Mudwoman Encounters a Lost Love
Moons bevond Rings of Saturn
Mudwoman at Star Lake

Mudgirl Cheri shed

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About the author (2012)

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, 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. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including We Were the Mulvaneys; Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award; and the New York Times bestseller The Accursed. 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.

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