Nora Ephron

July 7, 2012

Nora Ephron (1941-2012)

 “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

You  know that question, who would you invite to your dinner party if you could invite absolutely anybody – real or fictional, dead or alive? Norah Ephron would be on my invite list. Sadly, at a youthful 71 years, she passed away on June 26th. Among her many movies, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail have become our generation’s comfortable favourites – like old friends we visit on occasion and then savour why we love them so: the witty humour, the poignancy, the frank authenticity. The writing is stellar and I know every one of you reading this can recite a line, or even several, or, let’s be honest, the entire script, from memory.  (“I’ll have what she’s having!” ) Nora’s mother advised her that “everything is copy” and “take notes” which perhaps contributed in a small way to Nora’s striking ability to capture pitch-perfect dialogue and scenarios so authentic, many thought she’d read their minds.

Nora was not just a screenwriter and movie director, she was a novelist and essayist as well, with titles like: I Feel Bad About My Neck, Heartburn, I Remember Nothing, Wallflower at the Orgy, Crazy Salad and Scribble,Scribble. She was also known to be a devoted reader. Here are a few of her thoughts on reading:

“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

“… the state of rapture I experience when I read a wonderful book is one of the main reasons I read; but it doesn’t happen every time or even every other time, and when it does happen, I am truly beside myself.”

Arianna Huffington was a friend, and grateful to Ephron for her commitment to the Huffington Post. Read Arianna’s tribute and a collection of Nora Ephron’s HuffPo articles and blog posts here.

It has become abundantly clear that Nora Ephron was admired, respected and loved by many. So many wonderful articles have been written in her honour in recent weeks. In the words of Meg Ryan:

“Nora was an era. We pictured ourselves inside her dreams and they became ours. All wisdom, wit and sparkle lights, what a treat she was, what a blessing. I marvel again and again, what a life… To have created a simple happiness in people, to have added to the sum of delight in the world.” 

If you haven’t laughed your way through them yet, perhaps you’ll make room on your bedside table or in your beach bag for one of these recent collections:


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: