by Nora Ephron
Knopf, 576 pp., $35
Essayist. Humorist. Screenwriter. Filmmaker. Journalist. Blogger. It took four paragraphs for her New York Times obituary to run through all the hats Nora Ephron wore before arriving at "Novelist." The delayed credit was certainly no slight to her bestselling novel, Heartburn – only an indicator of the breadth of her talent. This hefty new collection pays tribute to "the most" of Ephron, reprinting in full Heartburn, her 1983 roman à clef about the bust-up of her marriage to Washington political reporter Carl Bernstein, as well as her Oscar-nominated screenplay for When Harry Met Sally and the script for two-act play Lucky Guy, Ephron's final work. Her nonfiction fills out the rest of the book, with dispatches from her days as a reporter, foodie reveries, memoir writing, meditations on feminism, and profiles of famous women (her pungent portrait of Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown belongs on the syllabus for every college magazine writing course). The scope is astonishing, and the writing – witty, self-deprecating, alternately soothing and scalding – is something to be savored.
Perfect for: J-school dropouts, beef borscht fans, mothers, daughters
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