“Heartburn: The Difficult Art of Loving” by American writer Nora Ephron, who is remembered for being the screenwriter of “When Harry Met Sally”, among other hits, has been re-released.

Nora Ephron she was a star writer, a regular on talk shows, and a media darling when magazines were everything and such a career was possible. It was in the 1960s and 1970s, when I was a contributor to Esquire and New York. However, he only rose to fame in 1983, when he appeared Heartburn: The Hard Art of Loving.

Ephron’s only novel, published in March of that year, quickly grew into something much bigger than the trifle it appears to be. The book is not a small page of 179 pages. Stomach pains (which translates to “heartburn” or “heartburn” in Spanish), rapid commercial success, became the darling of word of mouth and news, but also of the cinema, in an instant. To celebrate his milestone and longevity in our culture, Vintage will publish a paperback anniversary edition next month featuring a one-page introduction by the actor and foodie. Stanley Tucci.

Stomach pains is a comic novel, written in the first person, about cookbook author Rachel Samstat. In almost every way, Rachel resembles Ephron. East a murderous revenge novel which follows one of his most Instagram-worthy tenets: “Above all else, be the hero of your life, not the victim.” With Stomach painsEphron profited artistically and financially from the heartbreak of his second marriage. Others have since followed suit.

Stomach pains is a Washington and Washington Post novel. It’s based on Ephron’s explosive breakup with the legendary Watergate reporter. Carl Bernstein, who had an affair with the British ambassador’s wife when Ephron was several months pregnant with Bernstein’s second child. References to the Post, including the Style section, are sprinkled throughout the book. “You haven’t lived until you’ve pressed my Washington Post” is a lewd insinuation from the President’s aide. It is understandable that he fails.

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For some readers, Stomach pains It’s just a novel. It’s a monologue, a tirade, a key novel deployed with heat-seeking spines.

The husband isable to have sex with a venetian blind”. Her lover is introduced as “a rather tall person with a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb, and you should see her legs, not to mention her feet, which are sort of spread apart.” Ephron named her Thelma. The novel has become a gastronomic reference. Fifteen savory recipes appear throughout the novel, three of which are only for potatoes. Recently, they have found new life among young fans, including the cook Alison Romain, very connected to the Internet; the dressing was notoriously “instagramed” by Olivia Wilde.

(The books of Nora Ephron can be purchased in digital format from Bajalibros by clicking here)

The 1986 film came with top notch talent: directed by Mike Nicholsscreenplay by Ephron, with Meryl Streep there Jack Nicholson as protagonists and music of carly simon. It’s a lot less mean, funny and urban than the book. It lacks power. With dyed black hair and brown contact lenses, Streep gives a performance that is practically an Ephron knockoff.

The film features top notch supporting actors (such as Kevin Spacey in the role of an aggressor), the debut of Streep’s daughter and budding nepo-girl, Grandma Gumerlike Rachel’s baby, and perhaps the most scenes involving the ferry from the Orient, which is as soporific to watch as it looks.

In the end, Ephron would offer us more films, of which 3.5 are classics: When Harry Met Sally (Directed by Rob Reiner), air of love, You have an email and the Julia part of Julia and Julia.

When Stomach pains appeared in 1983, magazine and newspaper articles turned to dissecting the media marriage and Ephron’s motivation. Reception of the novel, then as now, tended to be divided along genre lines. The women loved the book. Men? Not that much.

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Ephron has come under intense scrutiny as a book. Leon Wieseltier, writing in Vanity Fair under the pen name Tristan Vox, said her transgression was worse than her husband’s: “Carl Bernstein and adultery; Nora Ephron and child abuse. There is no debate.”

Why did Ephron further sully their marriage and regurgitate his public humiliation? “Because If I tell the story, I control the version. ‘Cause if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I’d rather you laugh at me than pity mehe writes towards the end of the novel.

"Stomach pains" uses as fuel the author's grief after the separation from Carl Bernstein, who cheated on her while she was pregnant with her second child.
“Heartburn” uses as fuel the author’s grief after the separation from Carl Bernstein, who cheated on her while she was pregnant with her second child.

The story was too good not to be written. “I don’t have to turn everything into a joke. I have to make a story out of it,” observes Rachel. “Writers are cannibals,” Ephron once said. “Everything is a copy”, he stressed several times, a right word which became the title of his son’s tender documentary in 2016 Jacob Bernstein. “For my mother, Stomach pains it was his central act of resilience,” he says in the film. “For my father, it was steeped in revenge.”

A notorious control freak destined to become a director, Ephron could not control the public’s perception of her more effectively than politicians or royal second sons.

Due to the considerable legacy of Stomach pains – the novel, the cover, the film, the documentary of his son, the rambunctious sidekicks – Ephron and Bernstein remain publicly close, known as much for the breakup of their brief marriage as for their long and seemingly happy third marriages, that of Ephron with the journalist and screenwriter of Freedmen there Casino Nicolas Pileggi. (He is not interviewed on camera for the documentary; Bernstein is a constant.)

The divorce was not finalized until the mid-1980s, in part because of Stomach pains; among the hurdles was an agreement on how Bernstein and his children would be portrayed in the film. In real life and in the novel, the couple had two children. In the film, they have two daughters.

Stomach pains is a feast of topical humor, much of it rooted in early ’80s culture. In places, the book hasn’t aged quite as well as its author, despite his laments on his neck. Stomach pains includes references to WATS ranges (ask your parents) and high carbohydrate diets. The arugula was so new that it was written “rugula”. There is a recipe, I’m sorry to tell you, of beans with pears. No one will accuse the book of being politically correct. My copy is full of “ugh”.

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But the book is often clairvoyant. Break the Fourth Wall is written in a conversational, direct-to-reader manner that later became a staple of television and fiction.

After its success, "Stomach pains" was adapted for the big screen into a film starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.
Following its success, “Heartburn” was adapted for the big screen into a film starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.

Her influence is a constant among female writers, especially those who aspire to be funny. Stomach pains was quoted in a highly controversial 2022 column in The Guardian by Isabelle Kaplan titled “My boyfriend, a writer, broke up with me because I’m a writer.” Apparently he feared that Kaplan’s novel would do to him what he wanted to do to him. Stomach pains he did to Bernstein.

Ephron has figured out what his book is and tells the reader. Rachel talks about her cookbooks: “They’re very personal and entertaining – they’re cookbooks in an almost incidental way. I write chapters about friends or relatives or travels or experiences, and I include the recipes peripherally.” Ephron anticipated the public reaction. He writes of Rachel, “I’m the kind of person you really relate to.”

That Stomach pains in abundance is that voice: skilful, sure, indelible, unique. Growing up in Beverly Hills, the daughter of famous (and alcoholic) screenwriters, Ephron moved East to become Dorothy Parker and passed her.

His sense of humor, his precision in deleting superfluous words, his infallible timing are what drew fans to his work. Ephron had no gift for the tragic. When I met her in 2006, I wanted nothing to do with her, even though she was promoting a book called I feel bad for my neck (“I feel bad about my neck”).

When she died six years later, I wrote: “She was, by all accounts, a great and generous friend, a fabulous cook, hostess and guest. Once again I was this appetite for life. Ephron was just complaining to prove something, to be funny and, as you can see, to make a profit.”

He knew exactly who he was and how best to express it. It was his goal. Readers loved it because seemed safe from insecurity and doubt. Ephron had his story, yesterday and today. Life gives you a deadly break like a car crash. Here, enjoy my novel. All three potato recipes are free.

Source: The Washington Post

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