Sayonara Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron97% of scientists: “the Kardashians cause global warming!”

OK, that’s not literally true, scientists haven’t said anything of the kind; but the constant diet of trash peddled by the media distracts us from matters of importance, and those girls rack up a lot of air miles, so there is a kernel of truth.

The Kardashian sisters get 40 times as many news write-ups as ocean acidification, so it’s no surprise that until I chanced upon one of her essays recently, I’d never heard of Nora Ephron. Unbeknown to me, she had made my life a little brighter, and the lives of millions of others, .

If you liked Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally, or Sleepless in Seattle, you can thank Nora. She wrote those movies and she wrote, produced and directed many others. She also wrote great serious essays. This one in the New Yorker, “My Life as an Heiress“, was my introduction. Read it, It’s funny and wise. You’ll like it. Really.

Movies like Sleepless in Seattle may be written off as fluff by culture vultures, but as an old sentimentalist I enjoyed it. Entertainment doesn’t have to be profound, sometimes it’s just entertainment.

In 1962, when she was just 21, Nora was working as an intern for JFK; she applied to be a writer at Newsweek. Astonishingly, they had the nerve to tell her “We don’t hire women writers.” Nora didn’t take that too kindly, and participated in a class-action lawsuit against Newsweek for sexual discrimination, which went some way toward changing laws and attitudes.

Over to Nora:

“Maybe young women don’t wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case any of you are wondering, of course you can have it all.”

“In my sex fantasy, nobody ever loves me for my mind.”

“When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.”

Goodbye Nora, I should have known you sooner.

Read about her interesting life and work here on Wikipedia.