Nora Ephron: A Biography

Chicago Review. Jun. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781641603751. $30. BIOG
“I’ll have what she’s having.” That classic line comes from When Harry Met Sally, one of the best romantic comedy films ever produced, and the pen of Nora Ephron. Doidge’s comprehensive and optimistic biography of the writer and film director proves Ephron’s talent, ambition and drive began decades before she found her niche in films. Her parents were both Hollywood screenwriters and alcoholics. Doidge ushers readers through Ephron’s formative camp experiences in Arizona, her attendance at Beverly Hills High School and Wellesley College, then through her subsequent careers in journalism, screenwriting, and film directing. Add in three husbands, one of whom—Carl Bernstein—was the subject of her successful novel and film Heartburn. Ephron was a comedic genius who truly found her milieu when she ventured into the world of filmmaking (three of her screenplays were Oscar-nominated). Life was not all rosy; as with many comedic talents, there was a lingering sadness in Ephron, which Dodge ties to the early loss of her mother who taught her that “everything is copy.”
VERDICT Doidge’s vivacious, enthusiastic biography has serious undertones, much like Ephron herself. It will appeal to Ephron’s broad swath of fans. Includes book club questions.
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