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Publisher's Summary

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and author of the essay collection Shiksa Goddess, a dazzling debut novel, a comedy about New York's urban gentry living in a post-9/11 world, the arbiters of fashion and the doyennes of charity balls; about the rich and the nouveau rich(er), the glamorous and the desperate-to-be.

We meet Francesca Weissman, the Upper East Side pediatrician rated #1 by Manhattan magazine, who takes us into the upper strata of privilege and aspiration (she's originally from Queens with a father in hosiery; life on the fringes of glittering New York is fine with her); Samantha Acton, thoroughbred descendant of the Van Rensselaers and the Carnegies, who defines the social order in the great tradition of Mrs. Astor and Babe Paley; Judy Tremont from Modesto, California, daughter of a cop, her life's work, her obsession, is New York society and its richest families; Barry Santorini, Republican, moviemaker, winner of 12 Oscars, and his wife, the Italian supermarket heiress and former media rep for Giorgio Armani, and many more.

As Elements of Style opens, we see a madcap mosaic of the social lives and mores of 21st century Manhattan, of romance, work, family, and friendship. Satiric, fierce, touching, and deliciously Wasserstein.

©2006 Wendy Wasserstein (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Wasserstein gets the trappings and tribulations (of friendship and of romance) right, making her depiction of the rich and fab trying to connect with one another witty and entertaining." (Publishers Weekly)

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Awful

Looking for something that would dissect the emotions and goings on of New Yorkers post 9/11...what I got was a story of over privileged selfish characters who were completely unsympathetic. The characters are so one dimensional that they are unrealistic. Disliked very much.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful