I was neither a close friend, nor an acquaintance of Nora Ephron’s, yet I felt as if I had known her. Throughout the years I have laughed over her movies, devoured her essays, and lauded her scathing novel Heartburn. When the news hit last night about her death from pneumonia via acute myeloid leukemia, my grief was heartfelt. Through Nora’s crisp dialogue, witty essays, and sharp blog posts, I have learned much about writing. The same is true, I admit, from reading Woody Allen’s prose and viewing his films. If we had National Treasures, both Nora and Woody would prove worthy candidates for their linguistic prowess, their hegemony of the written word.
Nora Ephron’s 2010 book I Remember Nothing kept me in stitches, for I too forget people’s names. I purchased the book for friends, just as I did her 2006 book, I Feel Bad About My Neck. Her prose rang true, her insight acute regarding women and random life events. My friends marveled at the humor and pathos in the essays, particularly when Nora wrote of her mother Phoebe, who became an alcoholic and died at fifty-seven.
Sleepless in Seattle had ranked as my favorite Nora Ephron film, until Julie and Julia came along. My copy of Julia’s My Life in France is dog-eared; I have read it multiple times. Suffice to say that when the foodie film based in part on My Life in France arrived in theatres, I was on deck. Nora thrilled me with her film so much that I reread her books and Julia’s again.
In fact, I again was reading I Remember Nothing this week. Now Nora Ephron is no longer with us on Planet Earth, but I am heartened to know that she lives on through her movies, essays, books, and in revealing the secret to life is to marry an Italian. Adieu, Nora. Thank you for enriching my life and for reminding me to be the heroine of my own life.
Ciao for now.