Mudwoman
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Mudwoman

3.25 (2,698 ratings by Goodreads)

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Description

One of the most acclaimed writers in the world today, the inimitable Joyce Carol Oates follows up her searing, New York Times bestselling memoir, A Widow's Story, with an extraordinary new work of fiction. Mudwoman is a riveting psychological thriller, taut with dark suspense, that explores the high price of repression in the life of a respected university president teetering on the precipice of a nervous breakdown. Like Daphne DuMaurier's gothic masterwork, Rebecca, and the classic ghost story, The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, Oates's Mudwoman is a chilling page-turner that hinges on the power of the imagination and the blurry lines between the real and the invented--and it stands tall among the author's most powerful and beloved works, including The Falls, The Gravedigger's Daughter, and We Were the Mulvaneys.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 465 pages
  • 132.08 x 200.66 x 30.48mm | 340.19g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0062095633
  • 9780062095633
  • 467,385

Back cover copy

Mudgirl is a child abandoned 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. 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, but when confronted with challenges to her leadership she could not have anticipated, the fierce idealism and intelligence that delivered her from a more conventional life threaten to undo her.

A reckless trip thrusts 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 is at once a psychic ghost story and an intimate and compelling portrait of a highly complex contemporary woman cracking the glass ceiling at enormous personal cost.
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Review Text

"[A] powerful novel...[Oates] deftly interweaves M.R.'s present, memories of her troubled childhood, and her feverish hallucinations...This hypnotic novel suggests that forgetting the past may be the heavy cost that success demands." The New Yorker
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Review quote

"Mudwoman is very good at the performance of the public life of the woman president...The unraveling of this performance is grippingly horrible."--New York Review of Books
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Rating details

2,698 ratings
3.25 out of 5 stars
5 14% (377)
4 30% (818)
3 31% (841)
2 16% (429)
1 9% (233)
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