Home Books Nora Ephron Left Clues About Dying In Her Final Book

Nora Ephron left clues that she was sick or that something was wrong. No one was smart enough to notice them. In her most recent book, “I Remember Nothing,” she ends the collection of essays with two lists: What I Won’t Miss, and What I Will Miss. After the lists come the acknowledgments, which ends with “and course, my doctors.” And so this says it all, and no one thought it was peculiar. And now it means so much more. There were two reviews of this book in the New York Times in November 2010, and in neither one did the reviewer wonder why someone would leave these lists, or thank her doctors. I guess we know why now. It starts on page 132:

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What I Won’t Miss

Dry skin

Bad dinners like the one we went to last night

E-mail

Technology in general

My closet

Washing my hair

Bras

Funerals

Illness everywhere

Polls that show that 32 percent of the American people believe in creationism

Polls

Fox

The collapse of the dollar

Joe Lieberman

Clarence Thomas

Bar mitzvahs

Mammograms

Dead flowers

The sound of the vacuum cleaner

Bills

E-mail. I know I already said it, but I want to emphasize it.

Small print

Panels on Women in Film

Taking off makeup every night

What I Will Miss

My kids

Nick

Spring

Fall

Waffles

The concept of waffles

Bacon

A walk in the park

The idea of a walk in the park

The park

Shakespeare in the Park

The bed

Reading in bed

Fireworks

Laughs

The view out the window

Twinkle lights

Butter

Dinner at home just the two of us

Dinner with friends

Dinner with friends in cities where none of us lives

Paris

Next year in Istanbul

Pride and Prejudice

The Christmas tree

Thanksgiving dinner

One for the table

The dogwood

Taking a bath

Coming over the bridge to Manhattan

Pie

5 replies to this post
  1. I just met Mrs. Ephron as I have just finished the audiobook, I Remember Nothing. I was so impressed with the book that I decided to Google her to see what else she had done and of course I learned that she died last year. I am truly saddened to see that she has passed away. After listening to this book, I feel as if I knew her. I think I will listen again.

  2. I just completed reading Nora’s lists of What I Won’t Miss and What I Will Miss. How very touching. With tear filled eyes, I look forward to reading her last book, “I Remember Nothing”. I am grateful for Nora’s sharing of her humor, sensitivity and honesty in her many works. We will never forget you!

  3. I’m reading Nora’s last book now—I’ve already read _I Hate My Neck—I read it out loud, pretending that Nora was reading it to me out loud—I thought she looked a lot like Jane Fonda, only more humorous.

  4. If I ever was in love with a woman, it was you. Thanks for the laughs, books, movies & sharing your heartaches with us. R i P Nora. On my list of “Things I will miss” : Nora Ephron.

  5. I was shocked and saddened by Nora’s death. I admired her, laughed with her, and enjoyed her perspective on life. I cried when I read the list of what she would miss and how sad she must have been while writing it. I knew nothing about her being sick. What a loss and yes, too young to have had to leave this world. Her loved ones must miss her dearly. The rest of us who only knew her through her art, will sorely miss her as well.

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