When Meg Ryan mimed an orgasm in a diner in When Harry Met Sally and a nearby customer said: I’ll have what she’s having, that was Nora Ephron making her mark as one of the soon-to-be most quoted contemporary authors.
Nora Ephron (May 19, 1941 – June 26, 2012) was a screenplay writer and director of such formidable movie successes as Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally, and Julie and Julia, as well as the author of several books, columns, reviews and blogs.
Ephron made me feel OK about growing up (Wallflower at the Orgy), breaking up (Heartburn) and growing older (I feel bad about my neck). She didn’t write to change our lives; instead her writing retells our lives to us in a way that sparks recognition, affirms who we are and makes us laugh while we are at it.
From this you can tell that I am a huge Ephron fan and the arrival of her biography The Most of Nora Ephron is therefore a great joy to me. In fact, my life story can just about be summarised in Ephron quotes:
- On education:If you love architecture, you need to do more than marry an architect.
- On betrayal: If I had to do it again, I would have made a different kind of pie. The pie I threw at Mark made a terrific mess, but a blueberry pie would have been even better, since it would have permanently ruined his new blazer, the one he bought with Thelma.
- On growing older: Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth. You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn’t have to if it had a neck.
I love her writing. I want to write like this.
How about you, do you have an author of whom you can honestly say:
I’ll have what she’s having?