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"Elements of Style," the Pulitzer Prize--winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein's first novel, ""is a scathing comedy about New York's high society facing the post--9/11 world. Francesca Weissman, an Upper East Side pediatrician rated number one by "Manhattan" magazine, floats on the fringes of the upper strata of privilege and aspiration. Through her bemused eyes we meet the thoroughbred socialite Samantha Acton; relentless social climber Judy Tremont; Barry Santorini, an Oscar-winning moviemaker accustomed to having his way; his supermarket heiress wife, Clarice; and more, tossed together in a frothy stew of outrageous conspicuous consumption and adulterous affairs that play out on Page Six. But when Wasserstein's madcap tour of the social lives and mores of twenty-first-century Manhattan veers into tragedy, we finally see the true cost of her characters' choices, and the beating heart of this dazzling novel.
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