Nora Ephron is one of my favorite writers.
I knew this a long time ago, before I knew her name and before I read anything she had written.
I knew this because of the movies.
For a very long time I never really paid attention to who wrote movies, or how movies were created at all. But then DVD’s happened, with their special features and commentaries, and I started paying attention. I learned, for example, who was dreaming up that snappy dialogue I loved so much. I learned the names of the writers and directors who created those great moments for, say, Meg Ryan on screen. Yes… I learned who Nora Ephron is through the special features reel of You’ve Got Mail. Read a book by the writer of When Harry Met Sally…, Sleepless in Seattle, and Julie & Julia? Why, yes, thank you, I believe I will.
‘I Remember Nothing… and Other Reflections’ is a collection of essays through which Ephron voices her opinions and convictions about politics, religion, the internet, and food with equal irony. Every topic … pie… New York… her early career in the 1960’s journalism world… each, Ephron treats with trademark humor and shades of poignancy. Think Tom Hanks’ monologue on complicated coffee orders in You’ve Got Mail, but applied to dinner parties and writers and online Scrabble. But the thread running through the entire collection is a slightly wistful commentary on the reality of growing older. Ephron skillfully weaves stories of landmark life experiences (like meeting Eleanor Roosevelt) alongside the admission of having forgotten the details of those experiences, all of which elicits chuckles and grins, never tears.
Throughout each piece, the combination of Ephron’s style and the content she chooses is simply compelling. This is a quick read, perfect for summer. And if you happen to be an audiobook fan, Ephron herself reads ‘I Remember Nothing’, which is altogether wry and delightful. I highly recommend.