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Elements of Style

A Novel

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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
Elements of Style, the Pulitzer Prize—winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein’s first novel, is a scathing comedy about New York's high society facing the post—9/11 world. Francesca Weissman, an Upper East Side pediatrician rated number one by Manhattan magazine, floats on the fringes of the upper strata of privilege and aspiration. Through her bemused eyes we meet the thoroughbred socialite Samantha Acton; relentless social climber Judy Tremont; Barry Santorini, an Oscar-winning moviemaker accustomed to having his way; his supermarket heiress wife, Clarice; and more, tossed together in a frothy stew of outrageous conspicuous consumption and adulterous affairs that play out on Page Six. But when Wasserstein’s madcap tour of the social lives and mores of twenty-first-century Manhattan veers into tragedy, we finally see the true cost of her characters’ choices, and the beating heart of this dazzling novel.
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Elements of Style, the Pulitzer Prize—winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein’s first novel, is a scathing comedy about New York's high society facing the post—9/11 world. Francesca Weissman, an Upper East Side pediatrician rated number one by Manhattan magazine, floats on the fringes of the upper strata of privilege and aspiration. Through her bemused eyes we meet the thoroughbred socialite Samantha Acton; relentless social climber Judy Tremont; Barry Santorini, an Oscar-winning moviemaker accustomed to having his way; his supermarket heiress wife, Clarice; and more, tossed together in a frothy stew of outrageous conspicuous consumption and adulterous affairs that play out on Page Six. But when Wasserstein’s madcap tour of the social lives and mores of twenty-first-century Manhattan veers into tragedy, we finally see the true cost of her characters’ choices, and the beating heart of this dazzling novel.
Product Details
Paperback (336 pages)
Published: May 8, 2007
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9781400076871
Other books byWendy Wasserstein
  • The Sisters Rosensweig

    The Sisters Rosensweig
    This delightful Broadway hit chronicles three Jewish sisters from Brooklyn as they gather in London to celebrate a birthday. Wasserstein's three sisters include a brilliant banker and single mother who has given up on romance, a suburban housewife who moonlights as a talk-show host and a travel writer who still wants to write her serious book.An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Caroline Aaron, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jay Paulson, Tony Roberts, Kala Savage, John Vickery, James Warwick and JoBeth Williams.

    An American Daughter

    An American Daughter
    Pulitzer-Prize winner Wendy Wasserstein spins a comic and moving tale about the pitfalls that await political appointees. As a respected health crusader and devoted wife and mother, Dr. Lyssa Hughes seems perfect for the role of U.S. Surgeon General, until a chance remark at a fashionable brunch sets off a media feeding frenzy.An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring David Birney, Anna Gunn, Jamie Hanes, Gregory Itzin, Michael Malone, Kevin McCarthy, Mary McDonnell, Claudette Nevins and Denise Nicholas.

    The Heidi Chronicles

    The Heidi Chronicles
    Uncommon Women and Others & Isn't It Romantic
    The graduating seniors of a Seven Sisters college, trying to decide whether to pattern themselves after Katharine Hepburn or Emily Dickinson. Two young women besieged by the demands of mothers, lovers, and careers—not to mention a highly persistent telephone answering machine—as they struggle to have it all. A brilliant feminist art historian trying to keep her bearings and her sense of humor on the elevator ride from the radical sixties to the heartless eighties. Wendy Wasserstein's characters are so funny, so many-sided, and so real that we seem to know them from their Scene One entrances, though the places they go are invariably surprising. And these three plays—Uncommon Women and Others, Isn't It Romantic, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles—manage to engage us heart, mind, and soul on such a deep and lasting level that they are already recognized as classics of the modern theater.

    Shiksa Goddess

    Shiksa Goddess
    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. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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