I’ll have what she’s having…

Cover of The Most of Nora EphronWhen Meg Ryan mimed an orgasm in a diner in When Harry Met Sally and a nearby customer said: I’ll have what she’s having, that was Nora Ephron making her mark as one of the soon-to-be most quoted contemporary authors.

Nora Ephron (May 19, 1941 – June 26, 2012) was a screenplay writer and director of such formidable movie successes as Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally,  and Julie and Julia, as well as the author of several books, columns, reviews and blogs.

Ephron made me  feel OK about growing up (Wallflower at the Orgy), breaking up (Heartburn) and growing older (I feel bad about my neck). She didn’t write to change our lives; instead her writing retells our lives to us in a way that sparks recognition, affirms who we are and makes us laugh while we are at it.

From this you can tell that I am a huge Ephron fan and the arrival of her biography  The Most of Nora Ephron is therefore a great joy to me. In fact, my life story can just about be summarised in Ephron quotes:

  • On education:If you love architecture, you need to do more than marry an architect.
  • On betrayal: If I had to do it again, I would have made a different kind of pie. The pie I threw at Mark made a terrific mess, but a blueberry pie would have been even better, since it would have permanently ruined his new blazer, the one he bought with Thelma.
  • On growing older: Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth. You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn’t have to if it had a neck.

I love her writing. I want to write like this.

How about you, do you have an author of whom you can honestly say:

I’ll have what she’s having?

10 thoughts on “I’ll have what she’s having…

  1. kirsten65 21 January 2014 / 9:06 am

    What a great blog! I am requesting Nora’s books now.

  2. purplerulzpurplerulz 21 January 2014 / 9:33 am

    I do love her writing Roberta. When Harry Met Sally is one of my two go to movies when I’m home sick or just need comfort of the familiar (The other being Four Weddings and a Funeral – don’t judge me!).
    Without causing any sharp intakes of breath, I would have to say Cormac McCarthy or Annie Proulx would be my ‘I’ll have what she’s having’ authors. Their ability to describe the most ordinary things in the most extraordinary way astounds me every time! Julian Barnes is up there along with Carol Shields.

    • robertafsmith 21 January 2014 / 12:31 pm

      They are all great choices Jacqui, but I have a more journalistic style, so realistically Ephron is more up my street than Julian Barnes. One can but dream!

      • purplerulzpurplerulz 21 January 2014 / 2:10 pm

        Fair call, I spent too many years writing in a journalistic style for work, so make believe all the way for me now!

  3. Sandi 22 January 2014 / 6:36 pm

    Hi Roberta – lovely turn of phrase you have too me dearie! I’m also a fan, as you know, and take great delight in her words. One of my favourite quotable authors is Maya Angelou. The acerbic Ms Dorothy Parker also tickles my fancy at times. Sooooo many books, so little time 🙂

  4. Gallivanta 23 January 2014 / 11:39 pm

    Anne Morrow Lindbergh used to be one of my favourite ‘go to’ writers but I haven’t read her for so long I am not sure anymore. Rumer Godden is another.

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