Friday, June 29, 2012

In Memoriam - Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron (M), who was a bestselling author as well as a screenwriter, director, journalist, and blogger, has passed away at the age of 71. Ephron grew up in a writing family. She was the eldest of four daughters and all four went on to pursue writing careers. Her parents were both screenwriters and Ephron was raised surrounded by actors, writers and directors. Nora Ephron made a name for herself as a journalist and a columnist in the 1960's, an experience she wrote about in her collection of essays I Remember Nothing (M), which we wrote about last year.

Ephron worked terrifically hard throughout her life and she established a reputation and proved her talent in fields that did not easily admit women. Her first novel was Heartburn (M) in which she memorialized her failed second marriage to Carl Bernstein. "Is it possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage? If the writer is Nora Ephron, the answer is a resounding yes. For in this inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, the creator of Sleepless in Seattle reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a proper gravy depends on flour and butter. Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has "a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs" is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. And in between trying to win Mark back and loudly wishing him dead, Ephron's irrepressible heroine offers some of her favorite recipes. Heartburn is a sinfully delicious novel, as soul-satisfying as mashed potatoes and as airy as a perfect soufflé." publisher

In more recent years Ephron has blogged for The Huffington Post and her collections of essays have included I Feel Bad About My Neck, I Remember Nothing and Wallflower at the Orgy (M). "In this classic collection of magazine articles, Ephron does what she does best: embrace American culture with love, cynicism, and unmatched wit. From tracking down the beginnings of the self-help movement to dressing down the fashion world’s most powerful publication to capturing a glimpse of a legendary movie in the making, these timeless pieces tap into our enduring obsessions with celebrity, food, romance, clothes, entertainment, and sex. Whether casting her ingenious eye on renowned director Mike Nichols, Cosmopolitan magazine founder Helen Gurley Brown—or herself, as she chronicles her own beauty makeover—Ephron deftly weaves her journalistic skill with the intimate style of an essayist and the incomparable talent of a great storyteller."

Nora Ephron will probably be best remembered for her many successful films including When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Michael, You've Got Mail and Julie and Julia (M).

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