I didn’t know much about playwright Wendy Wasserstein, who died in 2006, at 55, except that she was single; funny; won a Pulitzer Prize for her play, “The Sisters Rosensweig;” had a great many creative and well-known friends; gave birth to a baby daughter, but never revealed the father, and was the sister of Bruce Wasserstein, a genius (if not pompous) billionaire investment banker, who died a few years after Wendy.
Now a new biography, “Wendy and The Lost Boys. The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein,” by Julie Salamon, gives us a (sometimes) painful look into her background. Her mother, Lola, was a piece of work. When she was walking down the street once with a young Wendy, she pointed to the crowd and said, “They are all looking at you and thinking, ‘Look at that fat girl.'” After her husband died, at 29, Lola married his brother, but neglected to tell her second set of kids, Wendy included. Wendy learned the facts from a sister.
The antithesis of her professional life, Wendy’s personal life was unsatisfying, a conflict Wendy apparently never resolved.
Wendy’s daughter, now 12, lost her mother when she was seven and her uncle, Bruce, when she was around 10, the two people she loved most in the world. I trust the young girl is showered with love by her mother’s close friends, who must miss her every single day.