I Remember Nothing and Other Relections by Nora Ephron

In June, Nora Ephron, one of my favorite writers/humorists/directors died. In one of the several articles I read about Ephron, the writer mentioned Ephron’s latest book, I Remember Nothing. I did not remember hearing much about it, and decided I had to read it. I was able to get it at my local library and read it in only a couple of days.

I Remember Nothing is a delightful, witty, irreverent comment on growing older, and not gracefully.  In 135 pages, Ephron captures our fears, our fantasies and our foibles about growing older. The essays are funny, sunny, silly, sarcastic…in other words, a combination of Ephron herself.

As in her other books, the author is brutally honest about herself and the life she leads. She tells about her mother’s alcoholism and her father’s later years when he calls, gives a message, and hangs up. It became a movie called Hanging Up, co-written by Nora & her sister Delia Ephron. (They collaborated on many other projects, as well.)

The Table of Contents is equally enchanting, with titles such as Who Are You? (my favorite), My Life as a Meatloaf, and a group of I Just Wanted to Say, followed by an item that bugs her, like white egg omelettes. I especially related to her essay called The D Word, the D standing for Divorce. The opening sentences rang true for me:

The most important thing about me, for quite a long chunk of my life, was that I was divorced. Even after I was no longer divorced but remarried, this was true….But when you’ve had children with someone you’re divorced from, divorce defines everything; it’s the lurking fact, a slice of anger in the pie in your brain. (p. 119)

Perhaps the most poignant essays are the two at the end: What I Won’t Miss and What I Will Miss. By the time she wrote these, I believe she was already seriously ill, so they are funny and irreverent, but sad as well.

As you can tell, I loved this book. Fortunately, there are her books, movies, plays, etc. that I can always read, see or experience while I am still around. Like my other idol, Dorothy Parker, these women were ahead of their time, and I am grateful for their bodies of work about women of their particular generation. Since Ephron is a peer, I  can readily relate to her essays. I will miss this sassy lady!

I Remember Nothing was published in 2010 by Knopf Publishers and costs $22.95 in hardback.  This photo is from the back cover of the book.

P.S. my maiden name is Knopf, so I have a soft spot for this publisher, even though we are not related.

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