The Heidi Chronicles

ISBN: 0822205106
ISBN 13: 9780822205104
By: Wendy Wasserstein

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About this book

Comprised of a series of interrelated scenes, the play traces the coming of age of Heidi Holland, a successful art historian, as she tries to find her bearings in a rapidly changing world. Gradually distancing herself from her friends, she watches them move from the idealism and political radicalism of their college years through militant feminism and, eventually, back to the materialism that they had sought to reject in the first place. Heidi's own path to maturity involves an affair with the glib, arrogant Scoop Rosenbaum, a womanizing lawyer/publisher who eventually marries for money and position; a deeper but even more troubling relationship with a charming, witty young pediatrician, Peter Patrone, who turns out to be gay; and increasingly disturbing contacts with the other women, now much changed, who were a part of her childhood and college years. Eventually Heidi comes to accept the fact that liberation can be achieved only if one is true to oneself, with goals that come out of need rather than circumstance. As the play ends she is still "alone," but having adopted an orphaned baby, it is clear that she has begun to find a sense of fulfillment and continuity that may well continue to elude the others of her anxious, self-centered generation.

Reader's Thoughts


Wasserstein was a terrific playwright and will be missed. I had the privilege of seeing this performed in NYC. I'd already read it and loved it. She was brilliant at characterization.


Not the best play I've read, but it had its moments.


Samantha Jones is in the movie!


For 215 LitLadies -


A very dynamic portrait of being female through the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I think this would've been excellent on stage, though now it is outdated.

Mary Ellen

a nice trip down memory lane-many reads


This is a case where the real emotional content of the play isn't dated, but many of the details and references are. Still a good play, but too many of the trendy conversation topics and activities that the characters engage in seem a little trite now.


don't bother if you did not grow up in the 60's because the pop culture references will fly by you


I read this originally out of a copy of the collection that everyone seems to have, which I don't any more. I read it more than once, but it was definitely more than ten years ago.


This play had some interesting ideas, and I liked Heidi, though it all ends up feeling a little dated by the end.

Don Weidinger

men rely on first impression, you look bored must be bright, women march only, to become irrelevant in MT, I didn’t say anything why the edit, 1 vs love, idealist wonder what do when grow up, all in this together.

Cathy Houston

Funny, lots of recognition of things that were important to us baby boomers


Brilliant play exploring realistic feminism throughout the last half of the 20th century. Wasserstein uses Heidi to speak beautifully simple truths, that connected with me on a level few things have. I highly recommend reading it at least two times to pick up on all the nuances.


I read this book on a (harrowing) car ride to and from Vermont. It's a quick play, but funny and insightful


I love Wasserstein, and her characters have never been so alive.

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