Elements of Style by Wendy Wasserstein
When Wendy Wasserstein died last January at the age of fifty-five, the obituary pages eulogized her as the “voice” of her feminist generation. If that is true, the voice was a decidedly ambivalent one, and had grown increasingly so. Wasserstein’s successful, semi-autobiographical comedy-dramas—Uncommon Women and Others (1977), Isn’t It Romantic (1983), the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles (1988), The Sisters Rosensweig (1992)—portray the lives of young women from the dawn of the brave new world of feminism through their middle years of professional progress and emotional discontent. By the time she reached her last play, Third (2005), feminist piety had evidently come to seem so constricting to Wasserstein that her protagonist, a professor of English, is driven to admit that one of her conservative students understands Shakespeare, and life, better than she does.
About the Author
Carol Iannone reviewed Wendy Wasserstein’s Elements of Style in the September 2006 COMMENTARY.