She Made Me Laugh: My Friend Nora Ephron

Early in Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen's intimate, affectionate and engaging memoir of Nora Ephron, he reveals the problem with writing about her life and their 39-year friendship: "Nora wrote about everything. She not only chronicled her life, she consumed all the best material, leaving nothing but cinders for a biographer to sift through." Fans of the filmmaker (Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally) and author (I Feel Bad About My Neck) need not worry; Cohen's She Made Me Laugh expands and enriches Ephron's familiar anecdotes by retelling them with a keen, questioning eye and adds new personal tales and insights.

The eldest daughter of two alcoholic Hollywood screenwriters, Ephron moved to New York City in the early 1960s to become a writer. Soon, she was writing for Esquire, Ms. and the New York Times. She turned her very public marital breakup (with second husband Carl Bernstein) into the comic revenge novel Heartburn. Calling Ephron "a deft literary pickpocket," Cohen recalls how everything in her life was fair game for an article, screenplay or blog post--except her six-year battle with leukemia. Outside of her immediate family, Cohen was one of the few people she trusted with her cancer secret. (His longtime companion, Mona Ackerman, was also battling cancer at the time and died two months after Ephron in 2012.)

Cohen's heartfelt tribute gives fans new insight into her work process, her successes and failures, her droll wit and enormous generosity, and her decision to keep her final illness out of public view. --Kevin Howell, independent reviewer and marketing consultant

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