R.I.P. Nora Ephron

Rest in Peace Nora Ephron, good job breaking the rules, making trouble, and pinpointing the humor & humanity in it all.






If you're curious about her books:


Wall Flower at the Orgy (Viking, 1970)
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.


Crazy Salad (Random House, 1975)
In this distinctive, engaging, and simply hilarious view of a period of great upheaval in America, Ephron turns her keen eye and wonderful sense of humor to the media, politics, beauty products, and women's bodies. In the famous "A Few Words About Breasts," for example, she tells us: "If I had had them, I would have been a completely different person. I honestly believe that." Ephron brings her sharp pen to bear on the notable women of the time, and to a series of events ranging from Watergate to the Pillsbury Bake-Off. [book description, Amazon]


Scribble, Scribble (Bantam Books, 1979)


Heartburn (Knopf, 1983)
Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel discovers that her husband is in love with another woman. The fact that this woman has a 'neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb' is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel is a cookery writer, and between trying to win Mark back and wishing him dead, she offers us some of her favourite recipes. HEARTBURN is a roller coaster of love, betrayal, loss and - most satisfyingly - revenge. [book description, Amazon]


Imaginary Friends (Vintage, 2003)
Although Lillian Hellman and Mary McCarthy probably only met once in their lives, their names will be linked forever in the history of American literary feuds: they were legendary enemies, especially after McCarthy famously announced to the world that every word Hellman wrote was a lie, “including ‘and’ and ‘the.’” The public battle, and the legal squabbling, that ensued ended, unsatisfactorily for all, with Hellman’s death. [book description, Amazon]

In Imaginary Friends, Nora Ephron brilliantly and hilariously resuscitates these two bigger-than-life women to give them a post-mortem second act, and the chance to really air their differences. [book description, Amazon]


I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman (Knopf, 2006)
With her disarming, intimate, completely accessible voice, and dry sense of humor, Nora Ephron shares with us her ups and downs in I Feel Bad About My Neck, a candid, hilarious look at women who are getting older and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and life itself. [book description, Amazon]


I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections (Knopf, 2010)
Ephron writes about falling hard for a way of life (“Journalism: A Love Story”) and about breaking up even harder with the men in her life (“The D Word”); lists “Twenty-five Things People Have a Shocking Capacity to Be Surprised by Over and Over Again” (“There is no explaining the stock market but people try”; “You can never know the truth of anyone’s marriage, including your own”; “Cary Grant was Jewish”; “Men cheat”); reveals the alarming evolution, a decade after she wrote and directed You’ve Got Mail, of her relationship with her in-box (“The Six Stages of E-Mail”); and asks the age-old question, which came first, the chicken soup or the cold? All the while, she gives candid, edgy voice to everything women who have reached a certain age have been thinking . . . but rarely acknowledging. [book description, Amazon]

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