Wasserstein, Wendy 1950–2006
Wasserstein, Wendy 1950–2006
PERSONAL: Born October 18, 1950, in Brooklyn, NY; died of cancer, January 30, 2006, in New York, NY; daughter of Morris W. (a textile manufacturer) and Lola (a dancer; maiden name, Schleifer) Wasserstein; children: Lucy Jane. Education: Mount Holyoke College, B.A., 1971; City College of the City University of New York, M.A., 1973; Yale University, M.F.A., 1976.
CAREER: Dramatist, actress, and screenwriter. Teacher at Columbia University and New York University, New York, NY. Actress in plays, including The Hotel Play, 1981. Member of artistic board of Playwrights Horizons; board member of WNET (public television affiliate) and MacDowell Colony.
MEMBER: Dramatists Guild (member of steering committee and women's committee), British-American Arts Association (board member), Dramatists Guild for Young Playwrights.
AWARDS, HONORS: Joseph Jefferson Award, Dramalogue Award, and Inner Boston Critics Award, all for Uncommon Women and Others; grant for playwriting, Playwrights Commissioning Program of Phoenix Theater, c. 1970s; Hale Mathews Foundation Award; Guggenheim fellowship, 1983; grant for writing and for studying theater in England, British-American Arts Association; grant for playwriting, American Playwrights Project, 1988; Pulitzer Prize for drama, Antoinette Perry ("Tony") Award for best play, League of American Theatres and Producers, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and award for best new play, New York Drama Critics' Circle, all 1989, all for The Heidi Chronicles; Outer Critics Circle Award and Tony Award nomination for best play, both 1993, both for The Sisters Rosensweig.
Any Woman Can't, produced off-Broadway, 1973.
Happy Birthday, Montpelier Pizz-zazz, produced in New Haven, CT, 1974.
(With Christopher Durang) When Dinah Shore Ruled the Earth, produced in New Haven, CT, 1975.
Uncommon Women and Others (also see below; produced as a one-act in New Haven, CT, 1975; revised and enlarged two-act version produced off-Broadway, 1977), Avon (New York, NY), 1978.
Isn't It Romantic (also see below; produced off-Broadway, 1981; revised version produced off-Broadway, 1983), Doubleday (New York, NY), 1984.
Tender Offer (one-act), produced off-off Broadway, 1983.
The Man in a Case (one-act; adapted from the short story by Anton Chekhov), written as part of Orchards (anthology of seven one-act plays adapted from short stories by Chekhov; produced off-Broadway, 1986), Knopf (New York, NY), 1986.
Miami (musical), produced off-Broadway, 1986.
The Heidi Chronicles (also see below; produced off-Broadway, 1988, produced on Broadway, 1989), Dramatists Play Service (New York, NY), 1990.
The Heidi Chronicles, and Other Plays (contains Uncommon Women and Others, Isn't It Romantic, and The Heidi Chronicles), Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1990.
The Sisters Rosensweig (produced at Mitzi E. New-house Theater, Lincoln Center, October 22, 1992), Harcourt (New York, NY), 1993.
An American Daughter, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1997.
Psyche in Love (one-act), produced at the TriBeCa Theater Festival (New York, NY), 2004.
Third, produced at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, Lincoln Center (New York, NY), 2005.
Uncommon Women and Others (adapted from Wasser-stein's play), Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 1978.
Bachelor Girls (comic essays), Knopf (New York, NY), 1990.
Pamela's First Musical (children's picture book), illustrated by Andrew Jackness, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1996.
Shiksa Goddess; or, How I Spent My Forties: Essays, Knopf (New York, NY), 2001.
Old Money, Harcourt (New York, NY), 2002.
Also author of television plays "Drive," She Said, PBS, and of sketches for Comedy Zone (series), Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. (CBS), 1984. Author of unproduced film scripts, including (with Christopher Du-rang) "House of Husbands," adapted from the short story "Husbands"; and a script adapted from the novel The Object of My Affection by Stephen McCauley. Contributor of articles to periodicals, including Esquire, New York Times, and New York Woman. Contributing editor, New York Woman.
SIDELIGHTS: "Serious issues and serious people can be quite funny," Wendy Wasserstein once stated in the New York Times, and the dramatist made her living expressing that philosophy. In her best-known plays—Uncommon Women and Others, Isn't It Romantic, and The Heidi Chronicles—Wasserstein spotlights college-educated women of the postwar baby boom who came of age in the late 1960s as feminism was redefining U.S. society. Such women, she suggests, have been torn between a newfound spirit of independence and the traditional values of marriage and motherhood they were taught as children. While portraying the struggles of her characters with deep sympathy, Wasserstein imbues her plays with a comic tone. "On some level, I'm terribly earnest," she told Sylvie Drake of the Los Angeles Times. "I almost have to look at problems with a sense of humor." Wasserstein has held the attention of theater critics since the late 1970s, when Uncommon Women opened to favorable reviews in New York City; a few years later, according to New York Times contributor Michiko Kakutani, she had "won recognition as one of this country's most talented young playwrights." In 1989 Wasserstein received the Pulitzer Prize in drama for The Heidi Chronicles, cementing her reputation as one of America's top playwrights.
Born into a New York City family in 1950, Wasserstein attended schools, such as New England's Mount Holyoke College, that were women-only and marked by social conservatism. She rebelled against these schools' traditions of propriety, preferring to cultivate a lively sense of humor. "I always thought in terms of getting by on being funny," she said in the New York Times. Wasserstein did graduate work at New York's City University, studying creative writing under playwright Israel Horovitz and novelist Joseph Heller before earning a master's degree in 1973. That year saw Wasserstein's first professional production: the play Any Woman Can't, a bitter farce about a woman's efforts to dance her way to success in a male-dominated environment. The show was presented by a small, experimental theater group, Playwrights Horizons, that would later prosper and play a major role in Wasserstein's career.
When Wasserstein graduated from City University, she was unsure of her future. The emergent women's movement brought the prospect of a career in law or business, but Wasserstein was not enthusiastic about these professions. She was drawn to a career as a playwright, a tenuous life made ever more so by the growing popularity of television and film. She applied to two prestigious graduate programs—Columbia Business School and Yale Drama School—was accepted by both, and opted for Yale. The leader of Yale's drama program was Robert Brustein, renowned in the U.S. theater community as an advocate of professional discipline and artistic creativity. Under his leadership, according to Horizon's Steve Lawson, Yale became "the foremost theatrical training ground in the country." Brustein "felt that theater was as important as law or medicine," Wasserstein later told the New York Times, adding that such a guiding attitude "gave you high standards to maintain." Her classmates at Yale included Christopher Du-rang and Albert Innaurato, both of whom would become award-winning playwrights, and actress Meryl Streep.
Wasserstein's work at Yale evolved from broad mockery to more subtle portrayals of character. Of her student plays, two are forthright satires: Happy Birthday, Montpelier Pizz-zazz shows the social maneuvers at a college party, and When Dinah Shore Ruled the Earth, written with Durang, mocks a beauty pageant. But in Uncommon Women and Others—which Wasserstein began as her Yale master's thesis—the characters are more complex; and the humor, more low-keyed, is threaded through with tension.
Uncommon Women is about a fictional group of Mount Holyoke students who trade quips about men and sex while wondering about their own futures with a mixture of hope and apprehension. As the play makes clear, when feminism reached college campuses in the late 1960s it expanded women's horizons but filled them with uncertainty. The character Rita dominates the play as an outspoken aspiring novelist. As a student she tells her friends that "when we're thirty we're going to be pretty amazing," but she eventually hopes for a "Leonard Woolf" who will, like Virginia Woolf's husband, support her while she perfects her writing. Holly, dubbed "imaginative" and "witty" by the Nation's Harold Clurman, makes a pathetic effort to find a husband on the eve of graduation by phoning a young doctor she once met. He has since married and has forgotten all about her. Surrounding the central characters, each of whom struggles to define herself, are other young women whose self-assurance seems vaguely unsettling by contrast. Leilah, self-contained and inscrutable, makes a cold peace with the world, deciding to become an anthropologist and marry a man from the Middle East. Susie is a booster for outmoded college traditions; Carter, a stereotypical genius who seems guaranteed of success. The play's opening and closing scenes show the central characters at a reunion luncheon a few years after college. Most seem confused and unfulfilled. Rita now asserts that by the age of forty-five they will all be "amazing." Chekhov, Wasserstein later revealed, inspired Rita's funny-sad refrain.
Uncommon Women was first presented at Yale in 1975 as a one-act play. Then Wasserstein rewrote the play in a two-act version and prepared it for the professional stage, receiving encouragement along the way from both Playwrights Horizons and the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference. The finished work received widespread attention from reviewers when it premiered in 1977 under the auspices of Phoenix Theater, a troupe that spotlighted new American plays. While Time reviewer T.E. Kalem found Wasserstein's characters "stereotypical," Richard Eder in the New York Times wrote that "if the characters … represent familiar alternatives and contradictions, Miss Wasserstein has made each of them most real." New Yorker contributor Edith Oliver dubbed the work "a collage of small scenes" rather than a "play." Nonetheless, she found the result a "wonderful, original comedy" in which "every moment is theatrical," adding that "for all [the characters'] funny talk and behavior, they are sympathetically drawn." In conclusion, Oliver declared Wasserstein "an uncommon young woman if ever there was one." Uncommon Women soon reached national television as part of public television's Theatre in America series.
Wasserstein began her next major work, Isn't It Romantic, as she approached the age of thirty in the late 1970s. Observing that many women her own age were suddenly planning to marry, she pondered the reasons for such a choice, including the possibility that women might marry simply because it was expected of them. "Biological time bombs were going off all over Manhattan," she told the Washington Post. "It was like, it's not wild and passionate, but it's time." Isn't It Romantic, observed Nation reviewer Elliott Sirkin, "has the kind of heroine the whole world thinks of as a New Yorker: Janie [Blumberg], a bright, plump, emotionally agitated young Jewish woman, who insults herself with sophisticated quips" while resisting the entreaties of an earnest but boring young doctor. Janie's mother, outgoing and energetic, urges her daughter to get married. In contrast to the Blumbergs are Janie's best friend, Harriet—an emotionally restrained Anglo-Saxon, more attractive and successful than Janie—and Harriet's mother, cooler and more successful yet. The play consists of many short scenes, abundant with comic one-liners, that explore how and why women choose a husband, a career, or a way of life. As the play ends, Janie, shocked to realize that Harriet is about to marry a man she does not love, pointedly refuses to move in with her own boyfriend.
When the original version of Isn't It Romantic premiered at the Phoenix Theater in 1981, a number of reviewers found that the play's episodic structure and Wasserstein's flair for jokes distracted from the issues that inspired the work. Wasserstein is "better at parts than at wholes, more gag-than goal-oriented," wrote New York's John Simon. He suggested that the first draft was encumbered by "Yale Drama School or Christopher Durang humor, which consists of scrumptious, scattershot bitchiness that … refus[es] to solidify into shapeliness." However, Simon concluded, Wasserstein "has a lovely forte: the comic-wistful line…. This could be a vein of gold, and needs only proper engineering to be efficiently mined."
As Wasserstein established her theater career, she became clearly identified with Playwrights Horizons, which also attracted Durang, Innaurato, and several other well-educated writers of the same generation. Under the growing influence of Andre Bishop, who joined the organization as an administrator in 1975, Playwrights became "the most critically acclaimed off-off-Broadway group since Joseph Papp's Public Theater began in 1967," according to John Lombardi in the New York Times. What the dramatists at Playwrights Horizons "really have in common," Bishop explained to Lombardi, "is that they are all extremely literate and extremely intelligent, two qualities that don't necessarily go together." He continued: "They come at the world from a humorous angle that is rooted in an angry desire for truth." Bishop wanted the organization and its writ-ers to have lasting professional ties, and it developed such a relationship with Wasserstein. After producing the revised version of Isn't It Romantic, Playwrights Horizons commissioned Wasserstein's next full-length work, Miami, a musical comedy about a teenage boy on vacation with his family in the late 1950s. The show received a limited run at the group's theater in early 1986. More successful was Wasserstein's subsequent full-length play, The Heidi Chronicles, which received its New York debut at Playwrights in late 1988.
The Heidi Chronicles was inspired by a single image in Wasserstein's mind: a woman speaking to an assembly of other women, confessing her growing sense of unhappiness. The speaker evolved into Dr. Heidi Holland, an art history professor who finds that her successful, independent life has left her alienated from men and women alike. Most of the play consists of flashbacks that capture Heidi's increasing disillusionment. Starting as a high-school student, she experiences, in turn, the student activism of the late 1960s, the feminist consciousness-raising of the early 1970s, and the tough-minded careerism of the 1980s. Friends disappoint her: a feminist activist becomes an entertainment promoter, valuing the women's audience for its market potential; a boyfriend becomes a manipulative and selfish magazine editor; a gay male friend tells her that in the 1980s, when gays are dying of AIDS, her unhappiness is a mere luxury. Heidi remains subdued until the play's climactic scene, when she addresses fellow alumnae from a private school for girls. "We're all concerned, intelligent, good women," she tells her old classmates, as quoted in the New York Times. "It's just that I feel stranded. And I thought the whole point was that we wouldn't feel stranded. I thought the point was we were all in this together." At the end of the play Heidi adopts a baby and poses happily with the child in front of an exhibition of works by Georgia O'Keeffe, an acclaimed woman artist.
Reviewers debated how well the play reflects the reality of Heidi's—and Wasserstein's—generation. In Village Voice, Alisa Solomon suggested that the playwright lacks sympathy with the aspirations of feminism. In New York John Simon felt the characters are oversimplified, averring that "Heidi's problem as stated—that she is too intellectual, witty, and successful for a mere hausfrau—just won't wash." Mimi Kramer, however, wrote in the New Yorker that "Wasserstein's portrait of womanhood always remains complex." Kramer found "generosity in the writing," contending that no character in the play "is made to seem ludicrous or dis-missible." Praising Wasserstein's skill as a dramatist, the critic declared that the playwright "never states anything that can be inferred…. She condemns these young men and women simply by capturing them in all their charm and complexity, without rhetoric or exaggeration." The Heidi Chronicles became Wasserstein's first show to move to a Broadway theater; soon afterwards, the play brought its author the Pulitzer Prize.
In 1990 Wasserstein published Bachelor Girls, a collection of humorous essays that had been originally published in New York Woman magazine. Booklist reviewer Ilene Cooper compared Wasserstein to Fran Lebowitz, whose humor also turns on the trials of being a single Jewish woman in New York City. According to Cooper, the great difference is that Wasserstein's "wit is gently filtered rather than raw and rough." She noted, however, that "that doesn't mean she pulls her punches." Time contributor Margaret Carlson was less generous in her assessment of Bachelor Girls, stating that "the territory Wasserstein covers has been strip-mined by those who preceded her…. A piece about the split between women who shave their legs and those who don't would have to come up with some dazzling insights to merit another look." Carlson believed that Wasserstein's best work is most evident in the last piece in the book, a one-act play. A Publishers Weekly reviewer was also lukewarm, terming the collection only "semi-humorous," but a Los Angeles Times Book Review writer deemed it a "very funny blend of self-deprecation, pride and bemusement."
In her next play Wasserstein again entertains audiences with humor underlaid with seriousness. The Sisters Rosensweig "looks at the lives of women who are weighing priorities and deciding which doors to open and deciding which gently to close," reported Linda Simon in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The play is set in London, where fifty-four-year-old Sara is celebrating her birthday with her two younger sisters. Twice divorced and having long since abandoned any hope of real romance in life, she is surprised when love suddenly seems possible after all. "With her focus on the hidden yearnings and emotional resistance of the women,… [Wasserstein's] obvious debt is to Noel Coward," Simon noted, adding that The Sisters Rosensweig "is very much a drawing room comedy." Mel Gus-sow, in the New York Times, found echoes of Chekhov in Wasserstein's work: "Overlooking the play is the symbolic figure of Anton Chekhov, smiling. Although the characters do not directly parallel those in The Three Sisters, the comparison is intentional…. Wasserstein does not overstate the connection but uses it like background music while diverting her attention to other cultural matters."
In earlier plays, Wasserstein frequently presented remarkable women who, despite their gifts, feel their op-tions closing down with the passing of the years. In The Sisters Rosensweig the playwright presents images of strong, intelligent, middle-aged women whose lives are still full of possibilities. Several reviewers have characterized it as Wasserstein's most hopeful play. Discussing the process of aging with Claire Carter for Parade, Wasserstein noted that she found turning forty to be a liberating experience. "Before turning forty, I got very depressed," she mused. "I kept making lists of things I had to do before forty. I drove myself crazy. Then after I turned forty, I thought, 'I don't have to do these things.' I was much happier after that."
Wasserstein's much-anticipated play An American Daughter debuted in 1997. A satire on the manners and mores of "official" Washington, DC, it is peopled by a host of recognizable political animals, from a crusty southern senate baron to a closeted gay conservative. At the center of the storm of comings and goings is Dr. Lyssa Dent Hughes, an upright feminist physician nominated to become the next U.S. surgeon general. Confirmation problems ensue when it is revealed that Hughes forgot to show up for jury duty some years before. Many reviewers found the play muddled, the comedy weighed down by political pretension. "Wasserstein has little to say, and that little is false," wrote Stefan Kanfer in the New Leader, deriding An American Daughter for its shallow characters and "sitcom soul." The play's "brisk satire gives way to whiny venting and windy summations that have marred earlier Wasserstein plays," wrote the Seattle Times's Misha Berson, who still found some of Wasserstein's political quipping trenchant and breezy.
In the 1990s Wasserstein took a major step by becoming a single parent, echoing the actions of the narrator of The Heidi Chronicles. An account of her daughter's birth is one of several autobiographical subjects broached in the 2001 essay collection Shiksa Goddess; or, How I Spent My Forties. Her relationship with her perfectionist mother, and her struggle to come to terms with her sister's death are also covered in these essays, which were deemed "highly readable" by Misha Berson in the Seattle Times. Despite the serious nature of some of the topics in the book, Wasserstein writes in a "breezy, splashy style," noted Penelope Mesic in Book Magazine. "Mildly funny, good-natured and ephemeral, these essays reveal that Wasserstein's overwhelming strength and weakness is the same: She is totally in touch with contemporary society." Wasserstein gently pokes fun at prominent gentiles who discover their Jewish roots in the title piece, claiming to have found some Episcopalians in her past and exploring her newfound culture. While such pieces were deemed "silly" by Jack Helbig in Booklist, the critic went on to note that Wass-erstein's reflections on fertility, family ties, and death are "riveting and sometimes searing," and her observations on the state of writing and theater are "sharp and pungent." A Publishers Weekly writer also found the author's writing on childbirth and death to be imbued "with notable humor and heartbreaking poignancy."
While Wasserstein has proven her ability as an essayist and a screenwriter, she remains best known for her plays. A writer for Contemporary Dramatists summed up her strengths as "her ability to create characters who laugh at themselves while questioning others. She serves as a role model for women who wish to be successful in the New York theater venue. All of her plays are quirky and interesting and offer strong roles for women."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Dramatists, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 32, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1985.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 228: Twentieth-Century American Dramatists, Second Series, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 2000.
Feminist Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.
Newsmakers 1991, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1991.
Advocate, May 27, 1997, James Oseland, review of An American Daughter, p. 90.
American Book Review, November-December, 1989, p. 4.
America's Intelligence Wire, May 5, 2003, Rick Weiss, "Wendy Wasserstein's Moldy Chronicles."
Architectural Digest, February, 1998, "Wendy Wasserstein: A Second Act for the Playwright's Central Park West Apartment," p. 30.
Atlantic Journal-Constitution, May 23, 1993, p. N10.
Back Stage, April 18, 1997, David Sheward, review of An American Daughter, p. 60; March 26, 1999, Roger Armbrust, "Wasserstein: Arts Not Elitist, but Democratic," p. 3; December 15, 2000, Julius Nov-ick, review of Old Money, p. 48; February 16, 2001, Simi Horwitz, "Direct from Chekhov to Wasserstein," p. 19.
Back Stage West, September 10, 1998, Judy Richter, review of An American Daughter, p. 17; September 24, 1998, J. Brenna Guthrie, review of The Sisters Rosensweig, p. 13; October 8, 1998, Terri Roberts, review of The Sisters Rosensweig, p. 16.
Booklist, March 15, 1990, p. 1413; June 1, 1998, Jack Helbig, review of An American Daughter, p. 1709; May 1, 2001, Jack Helbig, review of Shiksa Goddess, p. 1647.
Book Magazine, May, 2001, Penelope Mesic, review of Shiksa Goddess; or, How I Spent My Forties, p. 73.
Boston Globe, February 1, 1990, p. 69; March 3, 1991, p. B1; March 8, 1991, p. 25; March 22, 1991, p. 78; April 1, 1993, p. 61; January 27, 1994, p. 45; October 9, 1994, section 13, p. 7.
Chicago, August, 1998, Penelope Mesic, review of An American Daughter, p. 27.
Chicago Tribune, October 12, 1985; November 10, 1985; April 24, 1990, section 5, p. 3; October 21, 1990, section 6, p. 1; March 15, 1992, section 13, p. 22; November 30, 1992, section 5, p. 1; October 9, 1994, section 13, p. 7.
Christian Science Monitor, April 30, 1986; April 30, 1991, p. 12; November 5, 1992, p. 13; November 15, 1994, p. 14.
Entertainment Weekly, June 20, 1997, Mark Harris, review of An American Daughter, p. 28; May 1, 1998, review of The Object of My Affection, p. 42.
Harper's Bazaar, April, 1994, p. 120.
Horizon, February, 1978.
Los Angeles Magazine, September, 1994, p. 140.
Los Angeles Times, January 31, 1984; October 28, 1984; October 30, 1984; December 17, 1988; October 15, 1990, p. F1; September 20, 1991, p. F20; July 31, 1994, section CAL, p. 45; December 29, 1994, p. F1.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, August 25, 1991, p. 10; May 30, 1993, p. 6.
Nation, December 17, 1977; February 18, 1984; May 1, 1989, pp. 605-606; October 16, 1995, p. 443.
New Leader, December 7, 1994, p. 22; April 7, 1997, Stefan Kanfer, review of An American Daughter, p. 22.
New Statesman, June 26, 1998, Gerald Kaufman, review of The Object of My Affection, p. 51.
Newsweek, March 20, 1989, pp. 76-77.
New York, June 29, 1981; January 2, 1989, pp. 48-49; March 27, 1989, pp. 66, 68; June 13, 1994, p. 72; November 7, 1994, p. 102; April 28, 1997, John Simon, review of An American Daughter, p. 105; December 18, 2000, John Simon, review of Old Money, p. 178.
New Yorker, April 14, 1997, Nancy Franklin, "The Time of Her Life," p. 62; December 5, 1977; June 22, 1981; June 13, 1983; December 26, 1983; December 26, 1988, pp. 81-82; November 14, 1994, p. 130; March 6, 1995, p. 132; December 25, 2000, John Lahr, review of Old Money, p. 166.
New York Post, November 22, 1977; December 16, 1983; April 23, 1986; December 12, 1988.
New York Times, November 22, 1977; May 24, 1978; June 23, 1978; December 27, 1978; June 8, 1979; February 15, 1981; May 24, 1981; June 15, 1981; June 28, 1981; July 17, 1983; December 16, 1983; January 1, 1984; January 3, 1984; February 26, 1984; June 13, 1984; January 3, 1986; March 28, 1986; April 23, 1986; January 11, 1987; August 30, 1987; January 24, 1988; June 8, 1988; December 11, 1988; December 12, 1988, p. C13; February 19, 1989; March 12, 1989; October 9, 1989, pp. C13, 16; January 24, 1991, p. C15; October 18, 1992, section 2, pp. 1, 24; October 23, 1992, p. C3; November 1, 1992, section 2, p. 5; December 6, 1992, section 9, p. 12; February 13, 1994, section 2, p. 5; May 23, 1994, p. C14; October 16, 1994, section 2, p. 5; October 27, 1994, p. C15; May 2, 1995, p. 37.
Parade, September 5, 1993, p. 24.
People, March 26, 1984.
Publishers Weekly, March 2, 1990, p. 68; April 23, 2001, review of Shiksa Goddess, p. 60.
Rolling Stone, April 30, 1998, Peter Travers, review of The Object of My Affection, p. 73.
Seattle Times, May 1, 1997; June 20, 2001, Misha Berson, "Wasserstein: Motherhood at Sixty Brings New Outlook."
Time, December 5, 1977; December 26, 1983; March 27, 1989, pp. 90-92; April 16, 1990, p. 83; April 20, 1998, Richard Schickel, review of The Object of My Affection, p. 81.
Variety, April 14, 1997, Greg Evans, review of An American Daughter, p. 100.
Village Voice, December 20, 1988.
Vogue, May, 1998, John Powers, review of The Object of My Affection, p. 154.
Wall Street Journal, December 16, 1988.
Washington Post, May 3, 1985; May 6, 1985; March 22, 1991, p. F3; November 12, 1991, p. D4; March 13, 1994, pp. G1, G6-G7.
Washington Times, May 10, 2003, Jayne M. Blanchard, review of An American Daughter, p. D3.
Wine Spectator, April 30, 1998, Mervyn Rothstein, interview with Wasserstein, p. 361.