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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.