Mudwoman: A Novel

Mudwoman: A Novel

by Joyce Carol Oates

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062095633
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/05/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 465
Sales rank: 1,262,276
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.82(h) x 1.16(d)

About the Author

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 several times nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers 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. Her most recent novel is A Book of American Martyrs. 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.

Hometown:

Princeton, New Jersey

Date of Birth:

June 16, 1938

Place of Birth:

Lockport, New York

Education:

B.A., Syracuse University, 1960; M.A., University of Wisconsin, 1961

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Mudwoman 2.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Gram948 More than 1 year ago
What a strange story. The line between reality and delusion is sometimes very tenuous. Typical JCO plotting and characterizations. I really wanted to love this book as I have so many others of hers. And I did, except I really hated some of it. This is not one of those "you have to read this" books, but I am really glad that I stuck w/it. Not for every reader, except maybe real fans. (keep a dictionary handy)!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slow read. Not as good as other Joyce Carol Oats books.
michMI More than 1 year ago
Couldn't finish this book. Subject too sad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I gave up after trying to follow this for a while Very hard to stay with the story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read half way through this book hoping it would get better but it only got even more unintetesting. Dont waste your time reading this book...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No rating......I really wanted to like this book. It is really boring....dull, with characters you cannot be drawn to even want to like...
SamSattler on LibraryThing 6 hours ago
Mudwoman is dark even by Joyce Carol Oates standards. Oates is well known for novels featuring female leads that do not sense the physical jeopardy they are in before it is almost too late to escape it. Suddenly, these women - as intelligent and accomplished as they may be ¿ recognize that they have wandered into a situation that could cost them their lives. The threat usually comes from an evil or deranged man but, in the case of Mudwoman, all the damage is done by a little girl¿s own mother. When she is three, Jedina Kraek's mother decides to murder her and her five-year-old sister. Jedina is shaved bald as part of her mother¿s religious delusions and tossed into a mud flat near the Black Snake River where her mother assumes that she will drown in the muck. Against all odds, the little girl is found by a mentally handicapped local trapper and taken into a foster family for several years. When the Neukirchens, a childless Quaker couple, adopt her, Jedina (who had mistakenly claimed her older sister¿s name, Jewel) becomes Meredith Ruth Neukirchen.¿Merry¿ does her best to live up to the Quaker standards of her parents, and becomes the model student, an overachiever who compensates for her insecurities by excelling at academics. Secretly, Meredith applies for, and wins, the scholarship to Cornell that she believes will be her ticket to a new life far from stifling Carthage, New York.Mudwoman is told in chapters that alternate between Meredith¿s girlhood and her present life as the first female president of a prestigious Ivy League university. Now 41, and calling herself M.R. Neukirchen, Meredith lives alone in a spooky, ¿historic¿ house on campus allocated to the president and spends all of her waking hours on university business ¿ much of it involving fundraisers at which she must impress potential donors with her administrative competence. Oates, herself a Princeton teacher since 1978, is very familiar with this world and she exposes its inner workings here in detail. Because so much of what takes place in the present happens entirely inside M.R.¿s head, the book becomes a contrast between a realistic presentation of her childhood and the more surrealistic presentation of her present day circumstances. What happens when M.R.¿s childhood demons intrude upon her present life is often painful to watch. When cracks begin to appear in her public persona, expect to be horrified by M.R.¿s mental collapse as the university board of directors tries to contain the damage and deal with the problems she creates for the school. Mudwoman is frustrating at times because Oates, who is a master of this writing style, wants her readers to be (at least temporarily) as confused as M.R. herself about what is real and what happens only in her dreams. The good news is that patient readers will find that most, but not quite all, of the answers are revealed by the end of the book. Even better news is that they will have spent so much time inside M.R.¿s head that they will likely know and understand her as well as they do any fictional character they have ever encountered.Although it can be a difficult read at times, I highly recommend Mudwoman.Rated at: 4.0
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't believe all of the negative reviews.  Amazing story.  The first part was really sad and I almost had to stop reading because it was close triggering an anxiety attack.  That being said, I'm glad I stuck with it.  If you prefer standard plot arcs and like your stories tied up with an unrealistic but satisfying bow, than Oates is not the author for you.  These characters are deep, multi-layered, and real in a way we seldom see in writing.  It's refreshing.  I think a lot of people have come to expect certain archetypes that have been shoved down our throats our whole lives and so don't know what to make of them.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Didn't like it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very hard to finish. What started as interesting just got more confusing and boring. The ending was horrible. It's like the author forgot to write the last few chapters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not really worth it
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
worst book I ever read - ugh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read as far as page 213 and quit to find something more intelligent. What a waste of money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I admire and appreciate that she shared her opinion of the heinous Bush era wars.