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Elements of Style (Book - Wendy Wasserstein)

Genre: Fiction; Author: Wendy Wasserstein; Publisher: Knopf

Wendy Wasserstein came to fiction late in life. The Pulitzer-winning playwright had published scores of scripts, essays, and even a children’s book before she died of lymphoma in January at age 55. 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 ladies who lunch). But the Birkin-and-Botox babes wear out their welcome faster than last season’s Prada, and the warm, witty Dr. Weissman disappears into the New York City skyline. Elements of Style could have used a smidge more substance.

Originally posted April 19 2006 — 12:00 AM EDT

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