Nora Ephron: A Biography (Paperback)

Nora Ephron: A Biography By Kristin Marguerite Doidge Cover Image

Nora Ephron: A Biography (Paperback)


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"With her rigorous, authentic, and insightful biography of Nora Ephron, Kristin Doidge has gotten us all an invitation to sit around that table—to spend time with Nora and be forever changed by the encounter. This is a brilliant book."—Caroline Aaron, actress

Nora Ephron was one of the most popular, accomplished, and beloved writers in American journalism and film.

Nora Ephron: A Biography is the first comprehensive portrait of the Manhattan-born girl who forged a path of her own, earning accolades and adoration from critics and fans alike. Author Kristin Marguerite Doidge explores the tremendous successes and disappointing failures Ephron sustained in her career as a popular essayist turned screenwriter turned film director. She redefined the modern rom-com genre with bestselling books such as Heartburn and hit movies including When Harry Met SallySleepless in Seattle, and Julie & Julia. Doidge also examines the private life Ephron tried to keep in balance with her insatiable ambition.

Based on rare archival research and numerous interviews with some of Ephron's closest friends, collaborators, and award-winning colleagues including actors Tom Hanks and Caroline Aaron, comedian Martin Short, composer George Fenton, and lifelong friends from Wellesley to New York to Hollywood—as well as interviews Ephron herself gave throughout her career—award-winning journalist and cultural critic Doidge has written a captivating story of the life of a creative writer whose passion for the perfect one-liner and ferocious drive to succeed revolutionized journalism, comedy, and film.

The first in-depth biography to explore the complex themes that ran through Ephron's work and to examine why so many of them still grab our attention today.
Kristin Marguerite Doidge is an award-winning journalist, professor, and speaker based in Los Angeles. Her writing has been featured in The Atlantic, Marie Claire, FORTUNE, xoJane, Bustle, KCRW/NPR, Time Out Los Angeles, GOOD magazine,, GIRLBOSS, and the Los Angeles Business Journal. She earned multiple NAEJ Awards and Los Angeles/Southern California Press Club Award nominations. She has a master’s degree in specialized journalism from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism and teaches journalism and strategic public relations at Loyola Marymount University.
"I can say, I believe with understandable pride, that I put Nora on a pedestal before the rest of you. I was seven years old, away from home for the first time, at summer camp in Arizona . . . and there was Nora, eleven years old, the undeniable star of the camp, showing the brilliance, the warmth, the wit, the spirit, the many facets and colors that would mark all her years. Doidge lets us accompany Nora on her journey, capturing all those qualities as well as her triumphs and heartbreaks, taking us behind the scenes of her life with understanding and insight. A masterful job."—Victoria Riskin, writer, producer, former president of the WGA

"With the astuteness of a journalist and the heart of a true film fan, Kristin Marguerite Doidge has written an important and compelling primer of the life and career of Nora Ephron. Doidge's delicious prose and deep empathy for her subject's complexity enable her to capture both the sunlight and the shadow of Ephron and reveal her to be a great inspiration: She was the daughter of prominent screenwriters who happened to also be difficult alcoholics, a twice-divorced mother who found the love of her life by being courageous enough to open her heart again, and a talented writer-director who brought two of the most significant romantic comedies in American history to the screen despite the odds being stacked against a woman succeeding. Ephron died in 2012, before the rampant adoption of social media, the Women's March, the most recent movement to close the gender pay gap, and a number of other significant cultural movements that would have likely galvanized her status as a leading feminist icon for another generation and beyond had she lived to participate in them. Now a decade after Ephron's death, we are lucky to have Doidge's reminder of the importance and beauty of Ephron's life and work, and how relevant they are to our current cultural conversations. This book is sure to inspire the next generation of Ephron fans to pick up her writing, turn on her films, and dream another dream of what is possible in their lives." —Holly Van Leuven, author of Ray Bolger: More than a Scarecrow

"It takes chutzpah to tackle the life of one of America’s greatest wordsmiths. But Kristin Marguerite Doidge has given us a lively and well-researched biography of Nora Ephron, one that captures the offbeat charm of the essayist/screenwriter/director/foodie we lost much too soon." —Beverly Gray, author of Seduced By Mrs. Robinson: How "The Graduate" Became the Touchstone of a Generation

"When Nora was just Nora, before she became the celebrated journalist, essayist, and filmmaker, she would go up to famous people at parties and introduce herself. 'Hi, my name is Nora Ephron' she’d say and invite them over for dinner. And they would come—the most interesting and consequential characters of New York at that time (Joan Didion, Liz Smith, John Gregory Dunne, Barbara Walters). Nora would cook and those dinners were full of good food, good fun, and great conversation. With her rigorous, authentic, and insightful biography of Nora Ephron, Kristin Doidge has gotten us all an invitation to sit around that table—to spend time with Nora and be forever changed by the encounter. This is a brilliant book."—Caroline Aaron, actress

"A cheerful view of an acclaimed filmmaker." — Kirkus Reviews

"Doidge’s vivacious, enthusiastic biography has serious undertones, much like Ephron herself. It will appeal to Ephron’s broad swath of fans." — Library Journal

“...Doidge hits the highlights of Ephron’s multifaceted career in a biography that is both breezy and substantial.” — Booklist

"Kristin Marguerite Doidge [Nora] has an admiring first biographer who believes she taught women about risk, reinvention and hope…Nobody’s perfect, but I want to have what she was having." — Times Literary Supplement