June 28th, 2012
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Nora Ephron
By Michel Arnaud/Corbis
As the very sad news broke that Nora Ephron had died at the age of 71 from acute myeloid leukemia, it was immediately apparent from reading people’s tweets and posted comments that Ephron’s death was a tragic surprise and no one wanted to accept the dismal fact that we would no longer be able to look forward to the creation of another amazing, magical piece of work from her.

As Vanity Fair writer David Kamp declared, “…New York without Nora Ephron is just plain wrong.”

Her writing was sophisticated yet straightforward and she had a way of cutting through the big boy media noise to insightfully address politics, food, parenting, aging, male/female relationships and the American way of life in general.  She had a zest for life and she never stopped discovering and exploring, talking and collaborating, going for the next project.

I first discovered the multi-talented Nora Ephron back in the ’70’s when I read her books, “Crazy Salad” and “Scribble Scribble: Notes on the Media.”  I immediately loved her smart and funny point of view and I continued to follow her career whether she was writing more books, magazine columns, screenplays or directing movies.

It’s hard to pick a favorite of her many movies: Heartburn, Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, Silkwood, Julie and Julia but I think I have to go with Heartburn.

Ephron cleverly wrote Heartburn as thinly veiled fiction, telling the tale of her failed marriage to Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein.  It is a truthful look at falling in love, vulnerability, and resilience.  Bernstein, of the famed Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein Washington Post team which uncovered the Watergate scandal, had an affair with Margaret Jay, the British Ambassador’s wife, while he was married to Ephron and she was pregnant with their second child.

Rumors had been floating around Washington, DC about the state of their marriage and people couldn’t wait to read Heartburn, which was later made into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson and was filmed in Washington, DC.

Her friends have written about her generosity and happiness and I think that definitely came through in a lot of her work.  She was the kind of woman you wanted to have as a best friend because you got the sense that you could call her and she would immediately understand what you were talking about and then the two of you would talk about it for hours.

Thank you Nora for being your amazing self!! I think the following piece in The New York Times (including pictures) by Alessandra Stanley captures Nora Ephron best.  Please click on the link below:



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