Wendy Wasserstein was the youngest of five siblings. The family moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan when she was 12. After graduating from Mount Holyoke College in 1971, she studied creative writing at City College of New York and her first play, Any Woman Can't, was produced by Playwrights Horizons in 1973. Shortly after, she began to study playwriting at the Yale School of Drama, where she receiving a master's degree in 1976. Her first major success was Uncommon Women and Others, produced by the Phoenix Theater in 1977 and then filmed and broadcast on PBS. The New York Times wrote in her obituary, "Ms. Wasserstein's plays struck a profound chord with women struggling to reconcile a desire for romance and companionship, drummed into baby boomers by the seductive fantasies of Hollywood movies, with the need for intellectual independence and achievement separate from the personal sphere." She won a Pulitzer Prize for her most celebrated play, The Heidi Chronicles, which opened in 1989. She also wrote a children's book, a novel, and did some scriptwriting in Hollywood. She wrote an essay for The New Yorker about her late-life pregnancy and her daughter Lucy Jane's premature birth.