Category Archives: Writing

r.i.p. nora ephron, although i hardly knew ye

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.


writer Kate McGovern responds to my outtakes post

I love the Internets. Kate McGovern’s Modern Love column about self-identity after an interracial relationship inspired an outtakes post. She replied:

…thank you for getting what I was trying to say and for getting me.

 You are exactly right: I’ve been “working on it,” so to speak, for years, long before I met Daniel; our shared impulse to think and talk critically about race was part of our mutual attraction right from first meeting.  The years I spent working in the Harlem Children’s Zone were particularly formative, I suppose…it’s such a singular place, and I had many experiences there relative to “seeing” race and my whiteness that I think most white Americans are not privy to (or perhaps not interested in). I learned a lot from talking with my middle schoolers about race. (if only we were all as honest and frank about this stuff as middle schoolers!)
And you’re so right, too, that interracial relationships and families can’t be our only “plan” for making progress. That’s why, ultimately, regardless of the demographics of my eventual family, these are conversations I will be having with my children.
Anyway, I appreciate your close reading and your thoughtful response. Look forward to reading more of your blog in the future.
Very cool.

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