From the New York Times on author Lynn Nottage:
Ms. Nottage said that a profile in The New Yorker helped her shape the character of Undine. "I read this article about Condoleezza Rice, and I said: `This is exactly who I'm talking about. A person who has such a single-minded pursuit of success that they are willing to give up anything.' "
Undine, incidentally, is named after Undine Spragg, a character from the Edith Wharton novel "The Custom of the Country," who reinvents herself upon moving to New York. "Undine believes that to survive in the professional world, you have to sever ties to your family," Ms. Nottage said. "It's a big issue. It's one of the unspoken issues in the African-American community."