Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Feminist Fiction Friday--The Nora Ephron Edition

I was working for producer Lauren Shuler Donner when her movie  You've Got Mail was filming. Nora Ephron wrote and directed the movie, so that's my one-degree of separation from a woman I considered a modern Dorothy Parker.
But of course, she was her own woman and not an imitation of anyone else. Since she died this week, people have been posting quotes from her all over social media and they're all terrific "sound" bites.
Here's one that's been posted on IMDB forever: Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy.
In addition to You've Got Mail,which starred Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, Nora wrote Sleepless in Seattle with the same stars and also When Harry Met Sally, the Meg Ryan-Billy Crystal film that became everybody's favorite date movie.
She wrote several movies that starred Meryl Streep--most recently Julie  & Julia. (The other two were Heartburn, a fictionalized version of Nora's marriage to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame, and the terrific true-life whistle-blower story Silkwood.) A picture of Nora with Meryl Streep (who is no giant at 5'6") makes her look impossibly tiny.
Good things come in small packages.
Here's something I'd forgotten about Nora Ephron. She was a foodie. (And long-time friend of my favorite foodie of all, Calvin Trillin, author of Alice, Let's Eat.) In one of her books, I think it might have been Heartburn, she included recipes.
The first thing I ever read by Nora was her collection of essays, Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women. It's out of print now--Amazon lists used copies in the three-figure range--but it's probably at your local library. (It's at mine.) And you might be able to find a copy on eBay. It's worth tracking down. (I just checked eBay--there are three auctions for copies of the book--one is at $14, one at $55 and the other at $125, so maybe the library IS the best option.)
I love that Nora Ephron guessed (figured out) who "Deep Throat" was before his identity was finall revealed. I knew that her marriage to Carl Bernstein had not ended well, and it seemed like her knowing that was a great "screw you" to the man who had screwed around on her. (In Heartburn, she describes her protagonist as a man "capable of having sex with a venetian blind," which is a great line that's made even more potent because you know it came from a very painful place.)
Nora began her career as a journalist and ended as a blogger with HuffPost (presumably one of the few paid ones), and in between she was a humorist, essayist, screenwriter, novelist, director, and feminist.
I have lost a role model.

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