Book Review: “I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections” by Nora Ephron

This book is almost like a memoir of Nora Ephron. She first poked fun at her age and her frequent Senior Moments. For most of the baby boomers, we can begin to relate to her on this subject. She also talked about her Aruba, the crown of her head, an embarrassing exhibition that no one ever told her. It’s like no one would tell you when your fly is open.

She brought the readers back to her early life of studying journalism, and started her entry level work at Newsweek as the mail girl, to fact checker (researcher), worked in New York Post for 5 years, worked as a writer in a Esquire and New York magazines. All she believed in was journalism.

There was intimate details about her parents and her relationship with her alcoholic mother, who was first her ideal mother she worshiped then a loved one she despised because her alcoholism. She talked about the legend of Lillian Ross being kicked out by her mother.

On the relationship fronts, she talked about her relationship with Lillian Hellman and her big ego. She also talked about her 3 marriages: the first “clear” one without children, the second one with an unfaithful husband and two children and finally the 3rd one that lasted over 20 years. I guess third time is a charm. She believed in the religion of “Get Over It” and turned it into a story and novel.

There was this story about her almost inheriting a fortune from his uncle Hal and his father’s short phone conversation (probably well trained from those days when long distance calls were expensive). It turned out to be a small sum of $40K. The blessing in disguise was that she had to finish writing When Harry Met Sally, which changed her life. But then there were flops that hurt. It takes a brave, successful person to talk about her own failures.

Nora Ephron was fascinated with technologies: pre-paid movie tickets, internet, on-line Scrabble game, emails (6 stages of email) . She’s particular about foods, dining, and cooking: the story of egg-white omelet, Teflon pan, a Meat Loaf that’s named after her at Monkey Bar, and Christmas Dinner tradition.

The last thing she talked about that concluded the book was getting old. She listed the things she’ll miss that things she won’t miss.

Overall, half of the stories were interesting and the other half not so much. But you can tell she’s writing all these with her heart and honesty. Getting old gracefully is hard. She did a reasonable good job in this book.