Writer and filmmaker Nora Ephron is perhaps best known for her sparkling romantic comedies of the 1980s and ’90s, including When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail. But her writing credits ran the gamut: A prolific and fearless writer, she penned feature articles and essays in publications as varied as the New York Post, Esquire, and Cosmopolitan; an autobiographical novel, Heartburn; several essay collections and plays; as well as the original screenplays that made her a household name and earned her three Oscar nominations.
Throughout her lengthy career, Ephron consistently challenged herself to try new things. “The only way to learn is to keep doing something new,” she said in an interview in March 2012. “And, if you’re lucky, learning with people who really know how to do it.” Following her death in June 2012 at the age of 71, the Los Angeles Times called Ephron “a trailblazing journalist, filmmaker, and feminist, an astonishingly accomplished woman who generously shared her hard-won wisdom with younger writers.”
Ephron’s extensive body of work is a legacy that will be appreciated for generations to come. With her trademark humor and unflinching honesty, she invited readers and moviegoers to face the highs and lows of life with their eyes wide open — even while sometimes encouraging them to wear rose-colored glasses. Here are some of the best quotes that reflect Ephron’s sharp wit and keen insight into the human condition.
When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.
I love cooking because, if you follow the instructions, it comes out. Which is not true of anything else in my life.
When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.
You can never know the truth of anyone's marriage, including your own.
Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.
It’s OK being a woman now. I like it. Try it some time.
When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
You can never have too much butter, that is my belief. If I have a religion, that’s it.
It seemed to me that the desire to get married — which, I regret to say, I believe is fundamental and primal in women — is followed almost immediately by an equally fundamental and primal urge, which is to be single again.
Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter… Reading is bliss.
Journalism was something that I was as deeply in love with as anything I’ve ever been in love with. It was so romantic.
The realization that I may have only a few good years remaining has hit me with real force, and I have done a lot of thinking as a result… I try to figure out what I really want to do every day, I try to say to myself, “If this is one of the last days of my life, am I doing exactly what I want to be doing?”
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