Wendy and the Lost Boys by Julie Salamon
The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein

67%

9 Critic Reviews

After reading Wendy and the Lost Boys, it’s easy to feel that the best play about her life has yet to be written—and that it wouldn’t be a comedy.
-The New Republic

Synopsis

The authorized biography of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein.

In Wendy and the Lost Boys bestselling author Julie Salamon explores the life of playwright Wendy Wasserstein's most expertly crafted character: herself. The first woman playwright to win a Tony Award, Wendy Wasserstein was a Broadway titan. But with her high- pitched giggle and unkempt curls, she projected an image of warmth and familiarity. Everyone knew Wendy Wasserstein. Or thought they did.

Born on October 18, 1950, in Brooklyn, New York, to Polish Jewish immigrant parents, Wendy was the youngest of Lola and Morris Wasserstein's five children. Lola had big dreams for her children. They didn't disappoint: Sandra, Wendy's glamorous sister, became a high- ranking corporate executive at a time when Fortune 500 companies were an impenetrable boys club. Their brother Bruce became a billionaire superstar of the investment banking world. Yet behind the family's remarkable success was a fiercely guarded world of private tragedies.

Wendy perfected the family art of secrecy while cultivating a densely populated inner circle. Her friends included theater elite such as playwright Christopher Durang, Lincoln Center Artistic Director André Bishop, former New York Times theater critic Frank Rich, and countless others.

And still almost no one knew that Wendy was pregnant when, at age forty-eight, she was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital to deliver Lucy Jane three months premature. The paternity of her daughter remains a mystery. At the time of Wendy's tragically early death less than six years later, very few were aware that she was gravely ill. The cherished confidante to so many, Wendy privately endured her greatest heartbreaks alone.

In Wendy and the Lost Boys, Salamon assembles the fractured pieces, revealing Wendy in full. Though she lived an uncommon life, she spoke to a generation of women during an era of vast change. Revisiting Wendy's works-The Heidi Chronicles and others-we see Wendy in the free space of the theater, where her many selves all found voice. Here Wendy spoke in the most intimate of terms about everything that matters most: family and love, dreams and devastation. And that is the Wendy of Neverland, the Wendy who will never grow old.
 

About Julie Salamon

See more books from this Author
JULIE SALAMON is the author of Hospital, about Maimonides Hospital, as well as The New York Times bestseller The Christmas Tree; the true-crime book Facing the Wind; the novel White Lies; the film classic The Devil's Candy; a family memoir, The Net of Dreams; and Rambam's Ladder. Previously a reporter and critic with The Wall Street Journal, she has also written for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and The New Republic.
 
Published August 18, 2011 by Penguin Books. 427 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon26
Peak Rank on Sep 11 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Wendy and the Lost Boys
All: 9 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Good
on May 20 2011

Perceptive and empathetic, but also gently unsparing—a superbly nuanced portrait.

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NY Times

Above average
on Aug 26 2011

Like its subject, the book seems mindful of its projected audience.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on May 09 2011

Salamon's thoroughly researched account of a too-short life brings readers as close as anyone to such a private and complex woman.

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National Post arts

Good
on Sep 16 2011

...Julie Salamon offers a respectful, but never fawning, examination of Wasserstein’s life...

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Entertainment Weekly

Above average
on Aug 31 2011

Like the playwright's best work, it's a deeply personal portrait of a woman that's bound to cause a small scandal.

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Boston.com

Below average
on Aug 26 2011

Sketching the playwright’s life in undistinguished prose, Salamon doesn’t do much to explore either the import of Wasserstein’s feminist trailblazing or the contradictions within it.

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The New Republic

Below average
on Sep 20 2011

After reading Wendy and the Lost Boys, it’s easy to feel that the best play about her life has yet to be written—and that it wouldn’t be a comedy.

Read Full Review of Wendy and the Lost Boys: The ...

North Jersey

Good
on Aug 22 2011

Salamon ably captures Wasserstein's conflicted longings and those of an entire generation whose members, like Peter Pan, didn't want to grow up.

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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Alison Broverman on Sep 16 2011

Wendy and the Lost Boys is also a portrait of a quintessential New York childhood in an extraordinary family mired in both secrets and success (Wasserstein’s older brother, Bruce, who died in 2009, was a billionaire Wall Street mogul).

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84%

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