(Or, How I Spent My Forties) Essays
By Wendy Wasserstein
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375726033, 256pp.)
Publication Date: May 14, 2002
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Celebrated playwright and magnetic wit Wendy Wasserstein has been firmly rooted in New York’s cultural life since her childhood of Broadway matinees, but her appeal is universal. Shiksa Goddess collects thirty-five of her urbane, inspiring, and deeply empathic essays–all written when she was in her forties, and all infused with her trademark irreverent humor.
The full range of Wasserstein’s mid-life obsessions are covered in this eclectic collection: everything from Chekhov, politics, and celebrity, to family, fashion, and real estate. Whether fretting over her figure, discovering her gentile roots, proclaiming her love for ordered-in breakfasts, lobbying for affordable theater, or writing tenderly about her very Jewish mother and her own daughter, born when she was forty-eight and single, Wasserstein reveals the full, dizzying life of a shiksa goddess with unabashed candor and inimitable style.
Wendy Wasserstein is the author of the the plays Uncommon Women and Others, Isn’t It Romantic, The Sisters Rosensweig, An American Daughter, and The Heidi Chronicles, for which she received a Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and of the books, Bachelor Girls and Shiksa Goddess. She was admired both for the warmth and the satirical cool of her writing; each of her plays and books captures an essence of the time, makes us laugh and leaves us wiser. Wendy Wasserstein was born in 1950 in Brooklyn and died at the age of 55. Her daughter, Lucy Jane, lives in New York.
“Perceptive. . . . Sweet. . . . The often-poignant writing embraces wit, tragedy, joy.” –The Miami Herald
“Sparkling. . . . Wasserstein comes off . . . warm and honest, unassuming and modest. She’s the quirky, cool aunt you always wished were your mom.” –The Boston Phoenix
“Wendy Wasserstein writes with a heart as big as The Ritz. . . . These funny, truly intimate and uncommonly passionate pieces are a model of their kind.” –Terrance McNally
“Gut-wrenching, life-affirming . . . show[s] how powerful good writing can really be.” –New York Post