Mother, Missing

Joyce Carol Oates

When her mother uncharacteristically fails to return her phone calls, 31-year old Nikki Eaton calls in to check up on her. She finds the house turned upside-down, and her mother lying dead, murdered, on the garage floor. Single, sexually liberated and economically self-supporting, Nikki has never particularly thought of herself as a daughter. She learns to cope with the unexpected loss of her mother over the course of a tumultuous year of mourning that brings sorrow and even from an unexpected source, a nurturing love. This is a candid, engaging and personal novel about mothers and daughters from one of the greatest American novelists alive today.

Reviews of Mother, Missing

  • Praise for Joyce Carol Oates and ‘Mother, Missing’:

    ‘One of the female frontrunners for the title of Great American Novelist.’ Maggie Gee, Sunday Times

    ‘A writer of extraordinary strengths…she has dealt consistently with what is probably the great American theme – the quest for the creation of self…Her great subject, naturally, is love.’ Ian Sansom, Guardian

    ‘Unlike anything else she has ever written…A very strong and readable novel; the rivalry between the two sisters is especially well observed.’ Edmund White, Books of the Year, Time Literary Supplement

    ‘This is a wonderfully engaging story about the difficult relationship between mothers and daughters, sibling dynamics, family secrets and, of course the larger themes of love and loss from one of America’s most prolific and interesting writers who never fails to deliver.’ Daily Mail

    ‘Her prose is peerless and her ability to make you think as she re-invents genres is unique. Few writers move so effortlessly from the gothic tale to the psychological thriller to the epic family saga to the lyrical novella. Even fewer authors can so compellingly and entertainingly tell a story.’ Jackie McGlone, Scotland on Sunday

    ‘Novelists such as John Updike, Philip Roth, Tom Wolfe and Norman Mailer slug it out for the title of the Great American Novelist. But maybe they’re wrong. Maybe, just maybe, the Great American Novelist is a woman.’ The Herald

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