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Book Review: Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein by Julie Salamon (Part 1)

My first introduction to Wendy Wasserstein was her book Bachelor Girls which caught my eye in the early-1990’s at a small boutique bookstore on West Beaver Avenue in State College, PA. I picked it up because it had an attractive cover, had very short chapters, and was relatively thin. The latter two aspects were probably the deciding factors.

I had always been an avid reader. However, up to that point, my reading of anything written in English had been limited to books and articles that were related to my graduate school studies (i.e., earth sciences), passages forced onto me by English language teachers over the years, and newspaper articles that appeared on The Daily Collegian. I’d never read a book written in English for pleasure.

On this particular day in the early-1990’s, however, I went to the bookstore, intending to pick up something to read. Perhaps I had finished all the Japanese novels sent to me from my parents and was desperate.

I’d never heard of Wendy Wasserstein. But it was a think book with short chapters written by a female author. I liked the cover design. So I bought it.

One of the reasons why we read books is to experience lives and points of views that are not our own. Bachelor Girls allowed me to peek into, and experience the world that was entirely different from my own. Well-to-do NEW YORK women who belong to exclusive clubs (i.e., the New York Broadway Theater circle, alumni of exclusive New England universities) were all over the chapters living their lives. Meanwhile, I was a poor graduate student with an absolutely uncertain future spending most of my waking hours alone in the lab or at my desk. Occasional social hours were spent with other poor graduate students over a six pack of Busch, the cheapest beer you could buy at the time.

Bachelor Girls whisked me off to a different world. I was jealous. And I was thoroughly entertained.

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