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Mudwoman by Joyce Carol Oates


Mudwoman is not who you think she is. She calls herself M.R. Neukirchen, because that sounds more professional, more scholarly, fitting for the President of Cornell University; in fact, the first woman president of Cornell University. But as you get to know Mudwoman, you realize there is something not quite right, something frenetic. It could have something to do with the fact that her mother threw her into the mudflats at a local dumping ground, that she fell face down in the mud which was like quicksand and couldn't get up, that but for the kindness of a trapper who was led to her by the King of the Crows, she would be dead. Her sister wasn't so lucky - her mother locked her in a freezer at the dump - her body wasn't discovered until months later. Put into a foster home, her foster family didn't have their act very well together either. When Mudwoman hacks off the head of a fellow university professor, and then proceeds to saw him into little pieces, is this really happening, or is this just a bad dream? Okay, I'll admit that sometimes reading this book was like walking through mud, that at times I felt mired in mud. But there are parts of the book that were so beautiful to me. I mean, really, how well could anyone expect to be whose mother tried to drown her in mud. But M.R. Neukirchen is the first woman president at Cornell University. A true testament to Mudwoman's ability to overcome.

Mary @ Bay View

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 13, 2012 8:30 AM.

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