Wasserstein did not live to see her book reach the public; she died on Jan. 30, 2006, at the age of 55. The novel, coyly named after the famed grammar guide by William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White, is set in New York in the days following Sept. 11, 2001. Her characters—like those in her play Old Money—inhabit the over-privileged, Upper East Side world of Madison Avenue boutiques, limousines and opulent Park Avenue penthouses. Among the main characters are Judy Tremont, who immerses herself in well-appointed, over-planned dinner parties; the blue-blooded, adulterous Samantha Acton; Samatha's lover, movie mogul Barry Santorini; and the rich folk's pediatrician of choice, Francesca "Frankie" Weissman. All traffic in elite lunch spots, plastic surgery and conspicuous consumption to cope with a changing world they do not wish to fully acknowledge.
The book, published by Knopf, runs 320 pages and is priced at $23.95.
Wasserstein's plays included The Sisters Rosensweig, The Heidi Chronicles, An American Daughter, Isn't It Romantic? and Third.