When Nora Ephron was young, she wanted to be Dorothy Parker.
When I was young, I wanted to be Nora Ephron. I still do.
“All I wanted in this world was to come to New York and be Dorothy Parker. The funny lady. The only lady at the table. The woman who made her living by her wit. Who wrote for The New Yorker. Who always got off the perfect line at the perfect moment, who never went home and lay awake wondering what she ought to have said because she said exactly what she ought to have,” Nora writes in her witty, 1976 book Crazy Salad. You did just that, Nora! To me, you were that woman.
Though as Nora discovers that many of her “ambitions and fantasies—which [she] once thought of as totally unique—turn[ed] out to be clichés,” I on the other hand stand behind my original desire: There was no one like you, Nora; you were a force, an inspiration, a straight-shooter who deftly combined the personal and political, crossed (the often impenetrable lines between) journalism, essay, memoir, film, and theatre with the greatest of ease. And you were commercially successful! Perhaps it was because you wrote from a place of keen interest and curiosity.
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