Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What I learned from Nora Ephron

Writer Nora Ephron died tonight. I didn't love all her movies but I admired her bite. I once saw her speak, and she told a story about how, as a young writer, she was offered a job a a columnist at the New York Post. And, she couldn't pull it off. She finally realized that she wasn't ready -- at the time -- to do that kind of work. It didn't mean that she wasn't capable of doing it. She just needed to grow as a writer first.

My recommendations: For fiction, Heartburn; nonfiction: I Feel Bad About My Neck. BU students, get your hands on her 1977 story from Esquire, "Academic Gore" for a bit of BU history. Her description:  A cigar shaped campus with a train running through the middle.

Here's the Time obit.

In a commencement address she delivered in 1996 at Wellesley College, her alma mater, Ms. Ephron recalled that women of her generation weren’t expected to do much of anything. But she wound up having several careers, all of them successfully and many of them simultaneously,
She was a journalist, a blogger, an essayist, a novelist, a playwright, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and a movie director — a rarity in a film industry whose directorial ranks were and continue to be dominated by men. Her later box-office success included “You’ve Got Mail” and “Julie & Julia.” By the end of her life, though remaining remarkably youthful looking, she had even become something of a philosopher about age and its indignities.
“Why do people write books that say it’s better to be older than to be younger?” she wrote in “I Feel Bad About My Neck,” her 2006 best-selling collection of essays. “It’s not better. Even if you have all your marbles, you’re constantly reaching for the name of the person you met the day before yesterday.”

No comments: