The first female president of an Ivy League university, M.R. Neukirchen is a success: intelligent, an astute leader and passionate about her work. But beneath her polished veneer lies a different woman, someone she has subconsciously denied since she was little. When M.R. feels strangely compelled to take a side trip while on her way to a business conference, an accident results, and the facade she has maintained for so long begins to erode. Slowly M.R.’s childhood wounds are revealed and the divisions between adult and child come tumbling down. A haunting examination of how the past shapes us.
Mudwoman , Joyce Carol Oates, $30.