Book Review 36: I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron

17 Jun

If you love Nora Ephron, for her movies, or her advice, or her everything, you will love this book. Ephron was a wildly successful writer and director. And her personal life was fascinating as well – married to Bernstein, writing Heartburn about the dissolution of her marriage, and finding stability and an actual partner in her subsequent person.

The book is a series of short stories. They are odes to the things that Eprhon, 65 at the time she authored the book, loves, hates, and wonders about. Much of the book is very focused on New York, as Eprhon lived there most of her life, in an apartment she was deeply attached to, fostering her intense New Yorkness. New York seemed as much of a presence in her life as most of her friends, and lovers, and family, and I always find it fascinating when “place” overtakes “people” in terms of priority in someone’s live.

The title stems from her chapter about aging, and how unless surgery is involved, your neck always shows how old you are. She aged only somewhat gracefully. There was something refreshing in her frankness about how aging terrified her. So many interviews with celebrities in their 40s and 50s proclaim “40 is the new 30” and “I’ve never felt more confident” and so on and so forth. It’s like some people seem to pretend aging won’t happen to them. But Ephron manages to convey the confidence and security that comes with aging, along with the keen loss you feel when you realize you’re nearing the end of your life. It’s not that your early life is better, it’s more than as you age, you become reflective and feel an intense mourning for the things you’ve loft and the various lives you used to live. No matter how wonderful your old age it.

Worth a read for anyone interested in memoirs, women’s issues, or Nora Ephron!


2 Responses to “Book Review 36: I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron”

  1. Hairy-minded Bear June 17, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Ephron’s intense New Yorkness always pairs her with Woody Allen in my mind. I’ve seen the book on the shelves, but this is the first review I’ve read. Thanks for posting.

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