Elements of Style by Wendy Wasserstein

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Synopsis

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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Wendy Wasserstein

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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.From the Trade Paperback edition.
 
Published April 18, 2006 by Vintage. 336 pages
Genres: Self Help, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Elements of Style

Kirkus Reviews

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Characters occasionally mention the anxieties of living in post-9/11 New York, but the main impact of that event seems to be spending a Christmas in Palm Beach instead of traveling abroad.

Mar 01 2006 | Read Full Review of Elements of Style

The New York Times

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The cover art for Wendy Wasserstein's "Elements of Style" makes this book look like an expensive present.

Apr 20 2006 | Read Full Review of Elements of Style

The New York Times

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THE playwright Wendy Wasserstein's first and last novel, "Elements of Style," is emblematic of her life and career: it's a bright social comedy that takes a sudden, tragic turn.

Apr 23 2006 | Read Full Review of Elements of Style

The New York Times

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Emblematic of Wendy Wasserstein's life, her only novel is a social comedy that takes a sudden, tragic turn.

Apr 23 2006 | Read Full Review of Elements of Style

Publishers Weekly

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Nixon (Sex and the City ) crafts tones and speech patterns for Wasserstein's Upper East Side rich and famous that simultaneously satirize and humanize them.

Jul 10 2006 | Read Full Review of Elements of Style

Entertainment Weekly

Her first novel is quintessential Wendy: bookish heroine (pediatrician Frankie Weissman, who's smart, single, and stranded), glam Manhattan settings (cocktails at Bemelmans Bar, dinner at Da Silvano, shopping on Madison Avenue), and stiletto-sharp satire (mostly of superrich, social-climbing la...

Apr 19 2006 | Read Full Review of Elements of Style

Bookmarks Magazine

Joanne Kaufman Minneapolis Star Tribune 1 of 5 Stars "While Wasserstein does reference the great ‘society’ novels of Edith Wharton and Mary McCarthy, this is more Danielle Steele than Anthony Trollope or even Tom Wolfe.

Aug 29 2007 | Read Full Review of Elements of Style

The Austinist

By mocking the characters and their lifestyles as she does, however, Wasserstein succeeds in preventing the story from ever reaching any real depth.

Apr 28 2006 | Read Full Review of Elements of Style

Reader Rating for Elements of Style
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