Writer and film director Nora Ephron died Tuesday from pneumonia brought on by leukemia. Ephron was 71.
Although she was best known for penning beloved Hollywood screenplays (Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Julie & Julia), Ephron was also a prolific journalist, blogger, essayist, novelist, and playwright, recognized for her sharp observations and sense of humour.
The daughter of a Broadway playwright and a Hollywood screenwriter, Ephron began her journalism career at the New York Post, and went on to write columns for Esquire and New York magazines. Several of these pieces were re-published in three essay collections: Wallflower at the Orgy, Crazy Salad: Some Things about Women, and Scribble, Scribble: Notes on the Media. Her 1983 autobiographic novel Heartburn, based on her failed marriage with Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein, was adapted into a film starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson.
In a 2010 review of Ephron’s final book of personal essays, I Remember Nothing, L.A. Times critic Mary McNamara wrote:
When I was a journalist just out of college, I worked at Ms. magazine and all my friends and I wanted to be Nora Ephron. She turned her divorce into a wise and hilarious novel, she wrote about events and people in such a way that was informative but also full of wit and stinging cultural analysis. She wrote about food before everyone was a foodie. She was smarter, darker and funnier than Anna Quindlen. Ephron’s voice helped launch a whole new way of writing, and I still love to hear it.