Joyce Carol Oates – Mudwoman

Well that was a darn good read. It helps if you like the theme of madness in your tall tales. Mudwoman is a highly successful academic who had a rather awful start in life. We get to follow her on a little trip into a breakdown where she gets to acknowledge her past. It’s a bit like watching a car crash in very slow motion – except that it isn’t in sequence and some of it may or may not have happened. Confused? – well don’t be put off, it all works.

There is a little sub plot involving an emotionally distressed student that seems a little out of place and it can be difficult to work out what is real and what may be fantasy. But if you like dark tales this one is pretty darn noir.

Here’s the quote:

“The challenge is to resist circumstances. Any idiot can be happy in a happy place, but moral courage is required to be happy in a hellhole.”

oatesjoycecarol_mudwoman

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