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Shiksa Goddess: Or, How I Spent My Forties
Synopses & Reviews
When Wendy Wasserstein turned forty, she made a To Do list composed mostly of items left over from when she turned thrity. The listincluded the annuals: lose weight, exercise, read more, improve female friendships, improve male friendships, and (left over from her second grade To Do list) become a better citizen. At the end of the list were the larger-than-life unavoidables: move, fall in love, and decide about a baby.
In Shiksa Goddess, her first book of essays in ten years, Wendy writes about each f the quests and midlife obsessions.
On diets and cooking ("I was born to order up . . . My favorite breakfast china has always been a paper cup embossed with a picture of the Parthenon.") . . .
On getting in shape and hiring a personal trainer (Sue is on hand twenty-four hours to say, Stop! In the name of self-love . . . She is a fat-free beacon of light) . . . About the rise of the legendary Mrs. Entenmann, who married the boss at nineteen and went from salesgirl to bakery czarina . . .
On the truth of her denominational heritage (the name Wasserstein was changed from Waterson by a distant relative in order to get his child into an Ivy Leage college and Mount Sinai Medical School) . . .
On buying an apartment--and then seeking refuge from it for a year in a residential hotel ("Life boiled back down to basics: work, friendship, and room service") . . . About attending the Golden Globe Awards . . .
On the traditions of the holidays ("I was very disappointed the first time I saw Plymouth Rock . . . I thought it would be surrounded by Barricini chocolate turkeys, dancing sweet potatoes, and Pilgrims in crepe-paper hats") . . .
On MOther's Day and her mother, Lola Wasserstein ("Lola encourages sending a homemade greeting card. A personal citation like 'I love you, Gramma' or 'Mother, I promise next year to be married with three musically inclined children, a co-op, and a degree in dentistry' is worth thousands of words") . . . on Chekhov . . . George Abbott . . .
And she writes movingly about her sister's battle with breast cancer, and about her own pregnancy at forty-eight and the birth of her first child, Lucy Jane.
When the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright turned 40, she made a To Do list, most of which repeated the items she had listed when she turned 30. In "Shiksa Goddess", her first book of essays in ten years, Wasserstein takes on these and other midlife obsessions with her famous, appealing humor.
About the Author
Wendy Wasserstein was born in Brooklyn and raised in Manhattan. She received a B. A. from Mount Holyoke College and an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama. She is the author of such plays as 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. Ms. Wasserstein has also been the recipient of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, and the Outer Critics Circle Award. Wendy Wasserstein lives in New York City with her daugher, Lucy Jane.
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