Culture

A Woman To Remember

Nora Ephron
Nora Ephron
Nora Ephron (May 19, 1941 – June 26, 2012) was an American filmmaker, director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, playwright, journalist, author, and blogger. | Photo: NoraEphron.com | Nora Ephron, Director, Screenwriter, Playwright, Cancer,

How to Commemorate Nora Ephron

How do you write about Nora Ephron? How do you write about someone who's work is so iconic that it has become a part of our social fabric? Someone who's writings have made up large pieces of my conscious mind-- through the number of times in a given week I think of quotations from When Harry Met Sally-- to the threads filing through my subconscious mind-- how important I feel An Affair to Remember is as a movie due to my watchings and re-watchings of Sleepless in Seattle? How do you talk about someone who's work literally formed the material catalyst for your mother-daughter relationship? (Well, her and Jane Austen, that is).

I never had the honor to meet Nora Ephron, so I feel I can only talk around her. She has always been this cinematic giantess to work around, but now, with all the words written about her after her death, I don't feel I can ever get at her, not really. We have already begun to enshrine her, in our hearts and our cultural memory. I do not lament this, but it does make working out what her writing has meant to me a difficult set of feelings to parse out.

But maybe I am able to say this: there are people in this world who have a gift. Their gift is not necessarily words or creativity, imagination or dialogue. No, their gift is this: to take their tools and their talents and change the way people think and understand, the way they interact with one another. Nora Ephron had this gift. She changed the way I saw pieces of the world, and I know from the outpourings after her death, she changed many others.

And while I am sad that she left us, sad that she will no longer share any new stories or screenplays with us, I remind myself to be grateful I had a chance to encounter the work of a woman like her at all. And I remember that we should all be so lucky to leave this world with such a body of work behind us, with such a legacy to offer to our audience.

Meg Ryan
Meg Ryan

When Harry Met Sally: The film is probably best known for a scene where Meg and Billy Crystal are arguing about a man's ability to recognize when a woman is faking an orgasm. Sally claims that men cannot tell the difference, and to prove her point, she vividly (but fully clothed) fakes one as other diners watch. | Meg Ryan, When Harry Met Sally, Orgasm, Actress,

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Updated May 6, 2017 5:59 AM EDT | More details

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