Remembering Wendy Wasserstein


posted by Amy

It's rainy and gray outside my office windows as I type this, and I can't help but feel the weather is expressing appropriate sorrow after I just heard on NPR that playwright Wendy Wasserstein died today of lymphoma at age 55. Wendy Wasserstein was one of the writers I "found" on my own in college through a newspaper review of a local production of her play The Heidi Chronicles. Like many of her fans, I felt, after seeing and reading her plays, like she spoke truths about my life that no one else seemed to even notice, let alone care about.

In an odd twist of fate, we happened to become mamas during the same year, 1999. When I had my first baby at age 28, Wendy Wasserstein, then 48, was also about to become a mother to her daughter Lucy Jane (whose middle name happens to be the girl name we'd picked out for the baby who turned out to be Henry, thus ensuring I'll never forget what a playwright I'll never meet named her baby). Today, of course, I can't stop thinking about that little girl, a few months younger than my own still-little boy, losing her mama. Nor can I keep from wondering what else Wendy Wasserstein would have done with her amazing mind and wit and heart if she'd been given a few more years or, better yet, decades of mothering and writing and living life to the fullest.