The Sisters Rosensweig | Critical Review by Alex Raskin

This literature criticism consists of approximately 2 pages of analysis & critique of The Sisters Rosensweig.
This section contains 324 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Review by Alex Raskin

SOURCE: A review of The Sisters Rosensweig, in Los Angeles Times Book Review, May 30, 1993, p. 6.

In the following review, Raskin offers a mixed assessment of The Sisters Rosensweig.

One reason Wendy Wasserstein's characters are so compelling is that they have been invented by such a half-breed: a feminist playwright who can't seem to ignore the enticing call of the comfy Jewish suburban family. You can hear this call in the play that won her the Pulitzer Prize, The Heidi Chronicles, which ended happily when the heroine adopts a baby to raise on her own. And you can feel it intimately in the relationship at the center of this play. Sara, a 54-year-old British financier with "the biggest balls at the Hong Kong/Shanghai bank," "no longer sees the necessity for romance" until she meets Merv, a 58-year-old furrier ("Shhh! Please, synthetic animal covering," he tells progressive clients). Vintage Wasserstein, their courtship is one of passion thinly concealed by pugnaciousness. Sara: "How many support groups did you join when Roslyn died? I'm sorry that was cruel." Merv: "No, but it was in surprisingly bad taste. I joined two." Sara: "And what did you learn about yourself?" Merv: "That I couldn't write poetry."

Just as marriage seems inevitable, though, Wasserstein steers the romance askew by having Sara limit their relationship to a friendship. Cynics will say that Wasserstein—remembering how prominent feminists upbraided her for suggesting in The Heidi Chronicles that a woman needs a baby to be happy—is simply going against the natural emotional drift of her play in order to be PC. But the plot diversion is actually central to Wasserstein's message, which is that nesting must be counterbalanced by questing. Not coincidentally, this is similar to the message of Chekov's The Three Sisters. But the success of Wasserstein's characters at heeding it is all the more remarkable because their bi-coastal, bisexual lives are infinitely more disorienting than those in Tsarist Russia.

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This section contains 324 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Alex Raskin