If I were 22 and lonely in Kathmandu like Ariel Levy I’d never pull out a Nora Ephron book. Home alone on a wintry Saturday evening, yes, I’ll watch an Ephron movie on TBS–and that’s how I knew her, in that limited, younger-woman-browsing-entertainment-for-older-women way. I knew the name Ephron of course; you can’t move in literary circles in New York City, among Upper East Siders or in the magazine world and not know of her. But since I’d never read her work, I don’t know the true measure of her value to letters, the public sphere or to certain women. What I do know is that Ephron, who died this Tuesday at the age of 71, wrote well about life as she knew it. That’s my goal and daily struggle as a writer but she did it. Nuff respect.
I heard her speak once at an early morning invite only breakfast junket. The food was too good, the surroundings overdone. Another famous person–younger, more attractive, not yet needing a lot of Botox–was seated next to her but I only remember Ephron. Witty, sharp, irreverent and seemingly rating the morning’s event no higher than the next opportunity to nap or get her hair done. I understand why she’ll be missed.