Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nora Ephron has died

This morning's news has unexpectedly hit me right in the gut. Nora Ephron has died.

It can't be possible.

I had been meaning to blog about how only just this year I've discovered the pleasure of her writing, namely her poignant and hilarious book of essays, "I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections."

In her gem of book, there's this fantastic little piece about salt, of all things, and how there's never enough of the correct, old school kind of salt at good restaurants anymore. (Here it is online, actually.) I liked it so much I sent a copy to a foodie friend of mine only a few weeks ago.

And her story in there defending the honor of her WOH mother at a time when few women of her kind did that is just so sweet and priceless.

My favorite Nora Ephron story is how she used to be married to Carl Bernstein of Watergate journalists Woodward and Bernstein fame. He cheated on her when she was pregnant and raising an infant son. Her response was the correct one - divorce his ass, then write a bestselling book about it called "Heartburn," which later became a movie starring Meryl Streep as her and Jack Nicholson as him. Well played, Nora.

Which reminds me that Ask Moxie recommended "Heartburn" awhile back. In the midst of a divorce herself, she called it the best book she'd ever read. Though it may not speak to me as it would to someone experiencing divorce firsthand, I definitely need to read that someday, too.

It also cracks me up that back when her ex was still keeping Deep Throat's identity a secret for many years, Nora Ephron apparently took every opportunity to publicly out Mark Felt as Deep Throat. Like she'd be giving a speech and would just say it: "Mark Felt is Deep Throat. Good night." How the press ignored such a delicious scoop is far beyond me.

Rest in peace, Nora Ephron.


feMOMhist said...

sadness, she probably did more to get second wave feminism snuck into popular media than anyone else I can think of. I feel old.

eta said...

I read Heartburn just after the movie came out. I think I was 16 or 17--there's a great bit in there where the narrator talks about a husband asking "where's the butter?" & I did that bit as my audition monologue for a couple of years, too--the incongruity of a 18-year-old auditioning with a hilariously jaded married lady's sly rant probably didn't help my acting career, but I loved reciting her words any chance I got. I highly recommend Heartburn to anyone--even as a happily married grownup, I still feel the narrator's pain & resilience in the face of betrayal so personal & horrible she has to laugh. (It's also arguably a fantastic argument for comedy as the best revenge.) My own mom still quotes Nora Ephron's story about _her_ mother's great advice: "Take notes."

I was teary at the news of Ms. Ephron's passing, myself. Glad to know I'm in good company.

oilandgarlic said...

I didn't know much about her until her death. I knew about When Harry Met Sally and her books, but didn't even know she had a blog. I loved her list of things she'd miss (pie, kids, summer..) and things she would not miss (dry skin, emails, etc..) I am inspired to write up my own list.

hush said...

@feMOMhist - Don't feel old! "Feel bad about your neck." ;)

@eta - I just picked up "Heartburn" per your excellent recommendation. Thank you!

@oilandgarlic - Our own lists would certainly make good blog fodder. Hmm....

eta said...

@hush: I hope I didn't oversell it--my biggest fear whenever I recommend anything I love. I hope you enjoy it!