Today’s #FridayReads comes to us from our fantastic intern Alex Messina. She’s a grad student at DePaul University, majoring in Writing and Publishing (a perfect fit for our intern program!). Take it away Alex:
When I was about 12 years old, I wrote every movie I owned on individual index cards and placed them alphabetically in a black card holder I had stolen from my Dad’s office because that’s how Sally Albright kept her movie collection organized. Despite the fact that I was twenty years younger than she was, I identified with her in a way that I hadn’t with other characters before. And thus began my infatuation and recognition of myself in any character Nora Ephron has ever written.
Months ago, when I discovered a very large collection of her work was going to be published, it was a no brainer to add it to my birthday list and I was thrilled when someone gifted The Most of Nora Ephron to me. I’ve been reading it ever since. It is a glorious 576 page celebration of the life and work of a beaming and talented light. It includes the When Harry Met Sally screenplay, a play, a novel, published articles and blog posts (ranging in topic from social to political to cultural to food), and a collection of essays which are always my personal favorite. Despite already owning several individual copies of the works published in this collection, I am so happy to own this collective version as well. It sits on my nightstand, where it will probably stay forever, as I pick it up from time to time to read a piece about Dorothy Parker or a rising soufflé.
It’s very difficult for me to put into words what it is I love about Nora Ephron’s writing without sounding hopelessly fan girl-y (although, who are we kidding? I’m a total fan girl) and naïve. In the simplest terms, she is accessible and witty, strikingly observant, and the woman who created Harry Burns which is achievement enough. If you’re ever craving a story that will surprise you in its relatability and humor, or if you’ve ever enjoyed watching Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks cluelessly in love in either Seattle or NYC, I’d recommend just about anything she’s ever written. She was a talent that was taken from us too soon and the world will lack from the loss of her words.
“Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.” –Nora Ephron