After learning that Nora Ephron has passed, I’m hesitant to write about any of my favorite writers. Twice now I’ve done that, and the writer has quickly passed.
In January 2011, I paid tribute to Reynolds Price in one of my library columns and he died within a couple of weeks. Last week, my column about reading material for the middle-aged appeared. It featured Anna Quindlen and Nora Ephron. Now Nora’s gone.
Bad coincidence. For those of you who think you don’t know Ephron, consider the movies Heartburn, Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally. All helped define our time. My all-time Ephron favorite was her hilarious memoir, I Feel Bad about My Neck. I enjoyed her own narration on audiobook and it was a scream. Here was a writer who succeeded by bearing down on the truth as few ever do. I recommended the book to friends. At least one of them will still occasionally pull up her collar, or turtleneck or edge of her t-shirt and mock the title, “I feel sooo bad about my NECK!”
The world would have been duller without Nora Ephron, the writer whose mother advised, “Everything is copy.” That not-so-subtle prod urged Ephron to write. If things don’t go your way, write about it. Such is the makings of great comedy.