A most excellent surprise in the New Yorker this week — an essay by Nora Ephron. I used to love Nora Ephron– no, I still do. Hand me a copy of “Scribble Scribble” or “Wallflower at the Orgy” and I can almost quote large chunks of it from memory. She’s one of the writers I read when I was — I hate this phrase, please understand I use it under advisement — finding my voice, and she’s one of the reasons I do what I do. If you want to be a writer, you need to find a few who make it look easy; otherwise you might never try. And she always made it look easy, even when it was obviously hard. You want to know what a great magazine essay/story looks like? Read “Dealing with the, uh, problem” from “Crazy Salad,” about the development of the feminine hygiene spray. It’s simultaneously a total stitch and a stinging indictment of an industry that did its best to convince women that their ya-yas had such strong odors that needed to be corrected and sweetened.
(I was reading it once, and giggling, and Alan asked why. I told him. He said, “Never in my life have I been able to smell a woman’s p*ssy in a social setting.” There you have it. I guess nobody told the suits at Alberto-Culver, makers of FDS.)
Anyway, the essay this week was called “Serial Monogamy,” and was about Ephron’s relationships with cookbooks. Only, of course, it’s not about just that. I should quote a section, but it’s not online, and I’d have to go upstairs and find the magazine, and I have to go to work in a few minutes and excuse excuse excuse and whine whine whine. Just buy the magazine — it’s the Eustace Tilley anniversary issue.
deb said on February 20, 2006 at 1:54 pm
remember the year we both met nora ephron? i think it was 1984. she spoke in my town, and i managed to get invited to a private after-speech party where i talked to her for a few minutes. not long after that, you saw her in columbus and mentioned that she’d just met your best friend. you told her where we’d met, gave her a general physical description, and she said something like, “oh, yes! that really cute person with all the hair.” i was devastated. i mean, i quoted her part of her essay about dorothy schiff! and all she remembered was my hair. brutal.
Nance said on February 20, 2006 at 3:25 pm
Most women would be thrilled to be remembered as “that really cute person.”
Dorothy said on February 20, 2006 at 4:07 pm
Took the remarks right out of my mouth, Nancy!
Deborah said on February 20, 2006 at 8:38 pm
Speaking of the New Yorker – my brother-in-law gave us the Complete New Yorker archive for Christmas. It is an amazing CD collection, every page of every issue since the beginning can be viewed and read, cartoons, ads, all of it. That and reading nn.c is keeping me very entertained these days.