Like so many readers around the world, we are heartbroken by the death of Nora Ephron. (She died yesterday at age 71, from pneumonia brought on by leukemia, according to the New York Times.) Besides the fact that I love You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sallyand Nora's memoirs!—I am especially fond of this writer because she went to my alma mater.

Wellesley has already put up a remembrance site for Nora, who graduated in 1962. One of my favorite moments as a first year was watching Nora accept the 2006 Alumnae Achievement Award, the highest honor given to an alumna of the college. Naturally, she had everyone in stitches, although her speech had serious moments, too, like when she said, “Prepare yourself for a life of confusion, and embrace it.”

I wasn't at Wellesley when she gave the commencement address in 1996, but you can read a transcript here. Here's a good line: "I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there."

Other pieces by Nora I love: Her piece in Esquire on breasts. Her New Yorker essay on being in love with her apartment. Her spoof on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

There are remembrances all over the internet reflecting on this inimitable writer, from people like Ariel Levy and fellow Wellesley alumna Emily Yoffee (a k a Dear Prudence).

What was your favorite movie, book or essay written by Nora Ephron? Her writing is so funny, so personal and so real; I remember picking up my mother's copy of I Feel Bad About My Neck and laughing my head off at Nora's witty complaints, even thought I was much too young to sympathize with losing a pair of reading glasses. (By the way, if you haven't discovered this one on audio, we recommend you do that ASAP; it's read by Nora herself!)

I suspect that many, many people will be toasting to Julie & Julia and reading Crazy Salad in the coming days. Sounds like a good plan to me.

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