Read Shiksa Goddess by Wendy Wasserstein Online


Celebrated playwright and magnetic wit Wendy Wasserstein has been firmly rooted in New York’s cultural life since her childhood of Broadway matinees, but her appeal is universal. Shiksa Goddess collects thirty-five of her urbane, inspiring, and deeply empathic essays–all written when she was in her forties, and all infused with her trademark irreverent humor.The full rangeCelebrated playwright and magnetic wit Wendy Wasserstein has been firmly rooted in New York’s cultural life since her childhood of Broadway matinees, but her appeal is universal. Shiksa Goddess collects thirty-five of her urbane, inspiring, and deeply empathic essays–all written when she was in her forties, and all infused with her trademark irreverent humor.The full range of Wasserstein’s mid-life obsessions are covered in this eclectic collection: everything from Chekhov, politics, and celebrity, to family, fashion, and real estate. Whether fretting over her figure, discovering her gentile roots, proclaiming her love for ordered-in breakfasts, lobbying for affordable theater, or writing tenderly about her very Jewish mother and her own daughter, born when she was forty-eight and single, Wasserstein reveals the full, dizzying life of a shiksa goddess with unabashed candor and inimitable style....

Title : Shiksa Goddess
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780375726033
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Shiksa Goddess Reviews

  • Beth
    2019-02-15 12:34

    I feel late to the game in reading this one, as it was published in 2001 and a lot of the essays seem topical. Several of the essays were deeply personal; I found the ones on her sister's death and her daughter's birth particularly moving. Other essays felt more like inside jokes for New Yorkers and theater types. It makes me sad to think that Wasserstein didn't live long enough to see her daughter grow up. Her passion for the arts is an inspiring legacy.

  • Maria
    2019-02-04 18:27

    I really wanted to like this book but I had to stop reading it. Even as a native New Yorker who worked in the theater district for a time, I couldn't relate to much of it and didn't really find it all that funny. The style seemed reminiscent of Fran Lebowitz. To be fair, I didn't read most of the stories but I was turned off by the political and social zeitgeist that was the background of the book. Having said that, I respect the author and was saddened to read in another's review that she passed.

  • Linda Bernier
    2019-01-20 14:16

    Wonderfully warm and touching, wittily funny, very New York and Jewish- just how I remember Wendy at Calhoun. The epitome of children of "survivors," seemingly tough and rational to the outside world, but sentimental, emotional and generous to those close. What a tragedy that the three Wasserstein siblings died so young.

  • Philip Kaplan
    2019-01-27 19:32

    Last two essays about her sister and pregnancy were great. The others were OK.

  • Andrea Homier
    2019-02-02 17:27

    This collection of essays is by an ultimate New Yorker and reads as such - cynical and irreverent -- something I found both jarring and foreignly attractive. There is some great writing in here - particularly when Wasserstein is writing about subjects dear to her heart: her beloved older sister slowly dying of cancer, the birth of her daughter, and developing a growing, new, young audience for the theatre. In those essays, her passion flows with eloquence. She was obviously of great talent, and Wasserstein's own death at the age of 55 was a significant loss.I would like to see or read some of her plays, such as the Pulitzer-Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles or The Sisters Rosensweig. Wasserstein also wrote the screenplay for The Heidi Chronicles film starring Jamie Lee Curtis, but, sadly, the movie has yet to to be digitized and is only available in videotape!One particular essay, apparnently written shortly after the Lewinsky affair - in which Wasserstein harshly writes of Hillary Clinton and what she perceives as Clinton's failure to stand tall for women's rights and advocate personally and professionally for feminist values- left me pondering the passage of time and those whose time is cut short. When we write in and of the present day, we sometimes do not have the luxury of the long view. I wish Wasserstein had.

  • Joanne
    2019-02-17 11:20

    When I read the book jacket cover, the description made me think I was going to LOVE this book described as Wendy Wasserstein’s essays on life in her 40s. Upon completion, I felt like a movie trailer where the best parts were already pulled out for you. The book is easy to read since it is compiled of 35 short essays on different subjects. Overall, I really enjoyed and related to only a handful. Many were relative to the theater, arts and somewhat dated stories on Hollywood figures (Jamie Lee Curtis and Bette Midler) and can be somewhat deep. While the subject matter was depressing, I found “How I Spent My Forties” about her sister’s plight with cancer, well written and touching. On Wendy’s quest to have a baby in her 40s I felt “Days of Awe: The Birth of Lucy Jane” was an enjoyable piece.The ones that made me laugh the most were “The LUMP List” (Last Unattached Male Person) a kind of personal ad for available men and “First Ladies Get Dressed” with Joan and Melissa Rivers commentating on the garments found in the closets of Hilary Clinton and Elizabeth Dole.

  • Kim
    2019-01-24 19:20

    With her characteristic humor and ability to face the facts, Wasserstein explores the state of the arts in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s and reveals sources of her inspiration from the lives of family members and her generation of women. Of course I was interested in her backstage stories and descriptions of working on her shows, but especially touching are the essays describing her visit through Poland with her older sister as they located where their mother's family had lived prior to the rise of fascism in Europe, her sister's battle with cancer and the hurdles Wasserstein faced as a single, middle-aged woman in her successful bid to become pregnant and give birth to her daughter.

  • Tracy O
    2019-02-03 14:16

    I started reading this book thinking it was a sure fire "fall back." That is, that I was going to love it, it would be easy reading, and I would be through it in a flash. And, I'm honestly surprised that I found it really banal, uninteresting and totally without bite. I wanted light and funny, and who would've thunk it, this is simply TOO light, not very witty, and and pretty much without substance (those who know me, are saying, WHAT????). These essays skim so many topics so much at the surface that I wan't drawn in or interested - really. I revere Wendy's memory, but I can't recommend this. Go see one of her plays for sure, but don't contemplate this book as a measure of her talent.

  • Angel
    2019-02-09 13:06

    This book was sitting on my shelf for ages when I picked it up the other day. Each chapter is a snapshot in a day in the life of Wendy Wasserstein, playwright most famous for her Pulitzer Prize-Winning play, "The Heidi Chronicles." Such a self-deprecating funny person who thought it was a great honor to be "nice." I read this book, not being a huge fan or anything, but I thoroughly enjoyed all her stories especially the birth of her daughter Lucy Jane. Her life was so different than mine, but I understood her feelings and felt terrible when I read the last lines of the book, knowing there would be no more words since she passed away in 2006.

  • Carianne Carleo-Evangelist
    2019-02-08 12:20

    Oh this definitely hit the spot. A light, one day beach read.I don't recall where I picked this book up, but like the author my favorite breakfast china features the parthenon. This book is quite old. Two of the plays, here own Heidi Chronicles and Moss Hart's Act One have since been revived and her beloved Plymouth is now the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. That said, the stories held up well. I loved her partnership with DeWitt Clinton and TDF to bring the kids to the theater-so important.And even though she's a well known playwright, she's a normal person. I felt as if I've lived some of these experiences. And bringing home Lucy Jane was the perfect closeout to this series of essays.

  • Patricia
    2019-02-16 15:16

    This is another of the small used bookstore visit where I bought the whole shelf. These are 36 essays about coping with her forties. She is wonderfully witty, sexy and smart. I was so engaged with her achievements and her writing that as soon as I finished the book, I goggled her to find How she was doing with raising her daughter.….and broke out in tears when I learned Wendy had died. Her brother and his wife who had a child the same month as Wendy gave birth is raising her. Now, I would love to see one of her plays.

  • Karen
    2019-01-24 12:32

    There were a few gems in this book of essays, for example when the author wrote about her childhood and family, but it was tough slogging through the rest of the essays that would probably only be interesting if you were a theater/dance aficionado in New York City. It also felt like there was a lot of annoying name dropping (many of whom I didn’t even know because they are famous theater people in New York). So overall the writer has potential but I didn’t enjoy this particular book.

  • Annie Yang-Perez
    2019-02-15 14:05

    Life tragedies make good writers. Though it sounds cruel, in Wasserstein's case it is very true. My personal favourite is the piece about her sister Sandra's fight with cancer; the one about her daughter's birth is also very touching. Except for these last two entries written after life-altering events, the rest is a blur...

  • Bradley
    2019-02-15 11:10

    I really like Wendy Wasserstein and it's a shame that her life was cut short. This series of essays deals with her life while she was in her forties dealing with her sister's cancer and trying to become pregnant. Really heartwarming and heartbreaking.

  • Donna
    2019-01-23 16:16

    Wendy Wasserstein's conversational writing style lends itself well to the audiobook format. The anecdotes about New York theatre people were interesting, but her tale of having a baby at 47 was far more personal and moving.

  • Kathy
    2019-02-09 13:32

    Selection of short essays. Some MHC references, which were fun. I think theater lovers would probably enjoy these essays a lot. Her best essays are the ones about her mother, her daughter and taking kids to Broadway.

  • Autumn
    2019-01-21 11:08

    If you like Wendy Wasserstein, or theater, or New York, this collection of essays could be quite entertaining. If you don't have a particular interest in at least one of those things, I doubt more than a couple of the essays will be especially interesting.

  • Caitlin
    2019-01-22 16:20

    Belongs in the ranks of Kaling, Fey, Ephron and Poehler as the brilliant, witty ladies whose poignant and hilarious memoirs make me long to be their bestie. And what a love letter to the theater, and this glorious and heartbreaking city.

  • Lisa Montanaro
    2019-02-07 16:33

    A fun read. It's actually a compilation of essays that she wrote for the New Yorker magazine so you don't need to read it all in one sitting, but if you do, it does read a lot like a book. It's definitely witty and funny, and extremely personal. Enjoyable.

  • Karen
    2019-02-12 18:23

    It is so sad that Ms. Wasserstein died when she was 55. She was such a warm, perceptive, and funny writer and I loved her plays. I recommend these essays for readers who are interested in her life in the theatre.

  • Deborah
    2019-02-03 17:13

    Some of these essays were hysterical, others are more time-specific. It was odd to read the stories and essays with the knowledge that within a few years of completing the book, she was diagnosed with and died of cancer.

  • Dean
    2019-02-07 14:07

    I'd never read Wasserstein and this was a good sampling of essays. I look forward to reading her play the Heidi Chronicles.

  • Lauri
    2019-02-09 11:32

    I really enjoyed this collection of witty, sometimes thought-provoking essays. I think Wendy Wasserstein was a visiting Professor or something at Amherst when I was there, and I'm truly sorry I didn't get to know her.

  • Stacey
    2019-02-16 14:13

    I had heard of Wasserstein many times before, but never came in contact with her works. She is funny, but my want to read the other books I had in my possession trumped my full attention to this one, so it felt a little slow-going.

  • Aryn Roth
    2019-01-28 15:23

    good conversations, want to read more by wendy

  • Jane
    2019-01-25 13:05

    She was a very funny author, especially if you have spent time in New York. It's a keeper.

  • Beth Shields-Szostak
    2019-02-05 15:06

    1st edtion, signed by author

  • Rebecca
    2019-01-24 11:10

    Got this book as a gift and really tore through it. Good ol' Wendy. She's the best.

  • Jess
    2019-01-20 13:25

    I was so disappointed by this book - it felt trivial and too self-deprecating. I wonder if her other essay collections are better!

  • Jen
    2019-01-30 19:21

    I thought this would be a fun and thought-provoking read - I wanted a break from some heavier reading I had been doing. Unfortunately, it was really dull.