Nora Ephron's writing is smart, witty, and thoroughly entertaining. I Remember Nothing is a slim volume, only 135 pages long, and the essays inside are all short but laser-sharp.
Ephron is not a young woman, and she writes unflinchingly about what it is like to age. In the title essay, "I Remember Nothing," she talks about the many things she cannot remember...movie titles, her friends' (and even family's) names, what it was actually like to meet Eleanor Roosevelt and The Beatles, and to march on Washington during the Vietnam War.
But in other essays, she writes about things and people she does remember. What it was like to work at The New York Post, and Esquire in the '60s, for instance, when there were very few women working as reporters or feature writers.
Or what it was like to be befriended by Lillian Hellman. Stories about her family, and growing up in Beverly Hills with an alcoholic mother, yearning for New York.
And then she just talks about random things. It is obvious that Ephron could write about anything and make you want to read it, and as a writer myself I admire and envy that ability.
She writes, for instance, about Teflon and how she will miss it now that it's been declared dangerous; about diet and how she hates egg-white omelets; about e-mail and how much she hates it, even though she used to love it and even wrote a movie about it (You've Got Mail).
The book is full of randomness, and that makes it both unpredictable and delightful. And Ephron obviously revels in her own candidness and her strong opinions, and so will you.
I Remember Nothing Is a quick read and a lot of fun. It gives you just a glimpse into the mind of this fascinating woman, but even a glimpse is tantalizing. I was left with the desire to get and read her other books, and that is always a good sign. This is a great gift for yourself, and for every smart, mature woman you know.