Nora Ephron

50 Great Books You’ll Never Read in School

Back-to-school time is upon us, and for many, that means reading for pleasure will give way to burning through that syllabus. Classrooms, especially high school classrooms (college classes are becoming so weird and specific nowadays that you could read just about anything in them), suffer from the “classic effect” — which is exactly what it sounds like. Not that there’s anything wrong with literary classics, and they definitely should be read, but there’s so much more out there. And when you consider the fact that one-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives — well, it would be nice if they had a little more to go on than The Great Gatsby. After the jump, find a selection of books you’ll (probably) never read in high school, but should still read, and add your own favorite anti-schoolbooks to the list in the comments. … Read More

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Flavorwire Author Club: Eating Along With Nora Ephron

Food in Nora Ephron’s writing and filmmaking is nearly impossible to sum up in a short essay, as the love of food, pleasure, and the senses infused a great deal of Ephron’s work. As they say in Julie & Julia: “You can never have too much butter.” What’s admirable about it is that Nora was singular: I wonder, in all honestly, whether a woman writing today writing about food in the way that Ephron did would generally be shunted to the side as only a food writer, doyenne of the feminine and frilly. Ephron had it all — she was a serious writer and she took on topics that could be dismissed as frilly with her formidable intelligence. … Read More

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Flavorwire Author Club: Nora Ephron’s Quintessential Writing on the Female Experience

I think of the Nora Ephron essay “On Maintenance” every time I feel guilty about spending $43 on a charcoal face mask that does wonders with ingrown hairs I am now certain only I noticed. “Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death,” she writes. There are seven more paragraphs dedicated to getting rid of unwanted facial hair. Instantly I felt better about my own foolish womanhood. … Read More

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Flavorwire Author Club: Nora Ephron’s Guide to Dealing With Heartbreak Through ‘Heartburn’

I didn’t reread Nora Ephron’s only novel, Heartburn, last summer when my fiancé broke off our engagement, leaving me to move out of his Brooklyn apartment and onto a friend’s couch on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I did, however, watch the movie it’s based on, and for which Ephron wrote the screenplay, several times. It’s a near-perfect film, with Meryl Streep as Rachel Samstat, who is blindsided while several months pregnant when she discovers that her husband, Mark Feldman (played by Jack Nicholson), is in love with another woman. Ephron herself joked about the film years later at Meryl Streep’s AFI Lifetime Achievement tribute. “I highly recommend Meryl Streep play you,” she quipped. “If your husband is cheating on you with a carhop, get Meryl to play you. You will feel much better. If you get rear-ended in a parking lot, have Meryl Streep play you. If the dingo eats your baby, call Meryl.” … Read More

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Flavorwire Author Club: Never Mind David Foster Wallace, Here’s Nora Ephron

Joan Didion and David Foster Wallace are two of the most common points of comparison for contemporary essayists who blur the line between cultural criticism and their own personal experience. Whether their books border on memoir or their essays set out with the intent to dissect an experience, event, or work of art from a personal point of view, we frequently judge new voices by these two giants of the modern essay. … Read More

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‘When Harry Met Sally': How Nora Ephron Sold Woody Allen to the Masses

The film opens with simple, white-on-black titles, backed by an elegant, evocative jazz standard. The story that follows, framed by documentary-style straight-to-camera interviews, concerns a witty, urbane Jewish neurotic and his relationship with a sunny, fashionable shiksa. They stroll in through an autumnal Central Park and discuss death, sexual hang-ups, and New York real estate; the borough of Manhattan is captured in loving beauty shots, often backed by the music of Louie Armstrong. From that description, it would be easy to assume I was describing any number of Woody Allen films (Annie Hall in particular). But no, I’m talking about director Rob Reiner and screenwriter Nora Ephron’s When Harry Met Sally… which hit theaters 25 years ago today and made a mint — its $92 million gross easily besting any Allen film to this day. So how did Harry do so well (big money, cultural capital, ongoing influence over the romantic comedy genre) when its clear inspiration remains such an acquired taste? … Read More

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Introducing Flavorwire Author Club’s July Selection: Nora Ephron

When we talk about Nora Ephron, it’s difficult not to think of her first as a filmmaker, second as a writer. Sure, you might love Wallflower at the Orgy or Heartburn, but Ephron’s brand of smart, cosmopolitan rom-com will probably remain her most celebrated legacy. … Read More

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Enough About Lena Dunham’s Book Deal: Let’s Discuss Her Very Public Love of Literature

In the new issue of Zoetrope All-Story, Lena Dunham contributes a short essay on her discovery of Alice Munro’s work. Fueled by a lazy night with the recent Munro adaptation Hateship, Loveship on demand, she turned to the collection that includes the original story, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, describing a night spent under the covers with the book, underlining nearly every line. … Read More

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All Hail the bell hooks Creepline: 15 Pithy Kiss-Offs From Famous Feminists

In case you haven’t heard of the latest great tool for 21st-century women, there’s now a phone number that will respond to calls or texts with bell hooks quotes. Which makes it absolutely perfect as a fake number to hand out to creeps when you don’t feel safe politely declining their advances. Drop some feminist knowledge on their asses, huzzah! … Read More

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30 Writers’ Invaluable Advice to Graduates

Graduation season is fast approaching, the time of the year when some of our favorite writers are tasked with summing up the wisdom to be accrued from the process of growing up in ten succinct minutes of witty truth. These days, a successful graduation speech has the very real chance of going viral, and then living forever as a book: from David Foster Wallace’s This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, About Living a Compassionate Life to Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art, the best graduation speeches are finding a new life. This crop includes the brand-new Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness by George Saunders, a pretty-in-print encapsulation of his 2013 Syracuse Graduation speech. It’s reason enough to collect 30 of the best, wisest, and pithiest pieces of advice from the greatest writers to attempt the graduation… Read More

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