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


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


This was an interesting perspective of a woman's life from the 1960's to the 90's. The characters are dynamic, and the subjects definitely push the envelope of conservative society.*For my friends who might have concerns: Does have strong vulgar language.


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


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


Samantha Jones is in the movie!

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


For 215 LitLadies -


I'm on a bit of a Wendy Wasserstein kick. This play won the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony in 1989. Even though the play is over 20 years old, the themes presented are still valid.

Mary Ellen

a nice trip down memory lane-many reads


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.


I listened to the audio version of the play from Library2Go. The story was pretty good. Enjoyed the interview with the author at the end.


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.

Adam Hegg

I read this in a professional context with designs on directing it for high school students. It has a lot of potential but I am concerned about handling the feminist themes as a man and not being patronizing or condescending. I think it is worthy of production here but want to make sure I am serving the students well.


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.

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