Poet Cynthia Zarin writes hard truths with a soft voice, and for the first time she puts that same voice and poetic density into a book of prose. Out this month from Alfred A. Knopf, Zarin's memoir An Enlarged Heart: A Personal History is a series of essays about her life in New York: work, apartments, relationships -- all the normal things -- but written about from a rare place of fierce tenderness and self-awareness. I was caught up from the very first page of the book's first essay, "Real Estate," and by the time I'd finished it I knew I wanted to talk to Zarin about her book and her relationship to the city came to be. We spoke by phone.More »
It's no understatement to say that this New Yorker would not be a New Yorker but for Nora Ephron.
It's kind of bizarre, given how much my writing life has drifted from what first, in a roundabout way, brought me to New York City: the writing of Nora Ephron. Friends and readers who are familiar with my work might giggle at this, but I must admit it's true; there is perhaps no other writer more responsible for shaping my professional aspirations than the 71-year-old Ephron who died today.
As a 14-year-old freshman in high school drama class in Oxnard, California, I was enthralled when seniors did a scene from a new movie I'd never seen called When Harry Met Sally. Intrigued about how they'd learned their lines from a movie still in theaters (and not a play), I asked them and found out they'd gotten them from the screenplay of the film.
Screenplay? I'd never heard of such a thing.
And off I was to the Oxnard Public Library, checking out this screenplay by Nora Ephron.More »