A Pan for All Seasons

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Wendy and the Lost BoysWendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein
by Julie Salamon
Penguin. 460 pages, $29.95

 

ONE OF THE IRONIES of the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and fag hag extraordinaire Wendy Wasserstein is that after years of struggling to make Stephen McCauley’s 1987 novel, The Object of My Affection, into a movie, producers insisted that she alter the ending to show all of the characters coexisting happily and interacting productively. The novel considers what happens when a straight woman and her gay roommate/best friend decide to have a baby together. Wasserstein was attracted to the property because, unsuccessful in her relationships with heterosexual men yet desiring to have a child, she had struggled to conceive through in vitro fertilization with gay set and costume designer William Ivey Long, and may have even proposed creating a family with gay playwright Terrence McNally, with whom she possibly had an affair in the late 1980’s—while he was between husbands and just as the film of McCauley’s novel was going into production.

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