It’s just all jumbled up and out of chronological order

It’s just all jumbled up and out of chronological order

We don’t get the full story here, and now that Ephron has passed away, this collection is as close as we’re ever going to get to an autobiography. The facts are all here: the glamorous Beverly Hills childhood where Dorothy Parker or Lillian Ross might stop by her parents’ house for drinks, the girl-reporter-in-the-city years, the disastrous dissolution of her marriage to Carl Bernstein. For me, the only real highlight of this arrangement came when Ephron’s 1972 think piece on attending her 10-year Wellesley College reunion flowed into her 1996 Wellesley commencement address, followed by her tart and amusing 1970 profile of Helen Gurley Brown, creating a neat little feminist trifecta.

Certainly, no one’s even tried to make one based on the central idea that there might be equality and friendship between the sexes

Of course, Ephron was also a director – and in the end she will probably be best remembered for commercially successful romantic comedies like “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail” – but as Robert Gottlieb points out in his brief introduction to the book, the Oprah-bumped, million-plus success of her 2006 essay collection, “I Feel Bad About My Neck,” ushered in a new stage of her career. “Her honesty and directness, and her unerring prescience, had made her a figure – someone whose influence and authority transcended her individual achievements, extraordinary as they were.” Seems to me the word Gottlieb’s actually searching for here is essentially what Lena Dunham is – that is, a personality. (more…)

Continue ReadingIt’s just all jumbled up and out of chronological order