Marya Knauer is a famous author and member of the intellectual elite. She is, by turns, admired, envied, and resented. She is also a woman haunted. Haunted by early memories of violence and abandonment. Haunted by painful feelings of longing and loss. Now Marya is about to embark on a search for her past--and for the mother who gave her away more than a quarter of a century before.... Vividly evoking the beauty of rural New York, the shattered reflections of childhood, and the complex emotions of a female artist, Marya: A Life is one of Joyce Carol Oates's most deeply personal and brilliantly observed novels.