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Not Enough Delilahs

Andrew O’Hagan: Lillian Ross, 4 July 2019

Picture 
by Lillian Ross.
NYRB, 219 pp., £14.99, June 2019, 978 1 68137 315 7
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... phoneyJanet Malcolm – pretentiousRenata Adler – crackpotSusan Sontag – nobodyNora Ephron – liarOther hand:Kenneth Tynan – creepTruman Capote – leechGeorge Plimpton – slickTom Wolfe – talentlessPhilip Roth – jerkIt was a mercy she only had two hands. To be fair, there were some men she liked. They tended to be showbusiness ...

No Concubine

Mary Beard, 28 June 1990

The Oxford Book of Marriage 
edited by Helge Rubinstein.
Oxford, 383 pp., £15, March 1990, 0 19 214150 3
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The Oriental, the Ancient and the Primitive: Systems of Marriage and the Family in the Pre-Industrial Societies of Eurasia 
by Jack Goody.
Cambridge, 542 pp., £37.50, February 1990, 0 521 36574 0
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... Firestone. And there is a nicely observed commentary on the domestic politics of child-rearing by Nora Ephron (‘Now it takes two parents to take the child to the doctor – one to do it and one to keep the one who does it from becoming resentful about having to do it’). Otherwise, Rubinstein says in her introduction, it was ‘difficult to find ...

Short Cuts

Tom Crewe: ‘Parallel Lives’, 2 April 2020

... it’s now considered to be: ‘a shared favourite’ according to Sheila Heti; ‘the book Nora Ephron read every four years’, the new edition proudly informs us. (Mlotek claimed in her New York Times piece that she read it on average ‘every four or five months’.) Why otherwise would anyone seek to find clues about how to live in five ...

Would I have heard of you?

Lauren Oyler: ‘The Female Persuasion’, 21 June 2018

The Female Persuasion 
by Meg Wolitzer.
Chatto, 464 pp., £14.99, June 2018, 978 1 78474 236 2
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... who has had three novels adapted for film and television, including one directed by her mentor Nora Ephron (The Female Persuasion has just been optioned, as announced by Nicole Kidman on Instagram). ‘If The Female Persuasion isn’t this era’s Great American Novel, then I don’t think there is one to be had,’ the publisher claimed in a note in ...

Say thank you

Clive James: Witty Words in Pretty Mouths, 23 May 2002

Fast-Talking Dames 
by Maria DiBattista.
Yale, 365 pp., £19.95, June 2001, 0 300 08815 9
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... time, and with the qualified exception of Elaine May it never happened at all until the advent of Nora Ephron, several decades in the future. The fast-talking dames were chosen for the part by men. Among the major film properties as the war approached, only The Philadelphia Story had a female participant in its command structure. Katharine Hepburn had ...

Veni, vidi, video

D.A.N. Jones, 18 August 1983

Dangerous Pursuits 
by Nicholas Salaman.
Secker, 192 pp., £7.50, June 1983, 0 436 44086 5
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Monimbo 
by Robert Moss.
Weidenfeld, 384 pp., £7.95, August 1983, 0 297 78166 9
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The Last Supper 
by Charles McCarry.
Hutchinson, 427 pp., £8.96, May 1983, 0 09 151420 7
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Heartburn 
by Nora Ephron.
Heinemann, 179 pp., £7.95, July 1983, 0 434 23700 0
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August 1988 
by David Fraser.
Collins, 235 pp., £8.50, July 1983, 0 00 222725 8
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The Cure 
by Peter Kocan.
Angus and Robertson, 137 pp., £5.95, July 1983, 9780207145896
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... It would be easy to overpraise Dangerous Pursuits. This is a comedy of surveillance, dealing with in-store video monitors, hardware and software, amateur and professional police espionage, counter-terrorism, peeping toms and voyeurs. Everyone is bugged. Nicholas Salaman has plotted his book so deftly, with almost plausible pranks and conspiracies, surprises and reversals, sexual depravities and savage cruelties, that it sometimes resembles a first-rate spy thriller ...

Pink and Bare

Bee Wilson: Nicole Kidman, 8 February 2007

Nicole Kidman 
by David Thomson.
Bloomsbury, 311 pp., £18.99, September 2006, 0 7475 7710 2
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... view, is that it is a film about magic made by people who find the idea of magic risible. Nora Ephron, who wrote the screenplay, told reporters they needn’t waste their time asking if she believed in witchcraft. Thomson compares this with Steven Spielberg, who hired ‘a reliable UFO expert’ to advise him when making Close Encounters of the ...

Pleased to Be Loony

Alice Spawls: The Janeites, 8 November 2012

Jane Austen’s Cults and Cultures 
by Claudia Johnson.
Chicago, 224 pp., £22.50, June 2012, 978 0 226 40203 1
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... productions shows no signs of waning: the TV series Lost in Austen is being made into a film (Nora Ephron worked on the script) and HarperCollins is publishing contemporary reworkings of the novels – Joanna Trollope has been signed up for Sense and Sensibility. Jane Austen societies flourish around the world – the Germans and South Americans are ...

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