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Crowd won't forget Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron may remember nothing, but her fans clearly won't forget her after Monday
night's program at Miami Book Fair International.

Nora2 Fair-goers got a two-for-one deal at the "Evenings with . . ." event at Miami Dade College's Wolfson campus: Ephron, director, screenwriter and author of the humorous essay collection I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections (Knopf, $21.95) was interviewed by Dave Barry, another writer who knows a thing or two about being funny.

Barry encouraged Ephron to "talk a little about things you don't remember," and she obliged. She met Eleanor Roosevelt once, but don't ask for details. They're gone. "There were drapes," she said flatly. She saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show - "You could make a case that the '60s began that night'' - but aside from screaming girls, the rest of the event remains murky in her memory.

"Did you have sex with a Beatle?" Barry asked.

"I would have," Ephron admitted.

"Maybe you just don't remember," Barry replied.

The evening was a raucous one, with a full house, a lot of laughs and a real book fair buzz in the air.

"I like her books, I like her movies," said Karen Jones of Sunny Isles Beach, who came with her friend Cheryl Modell of Miami Beach. Both are longtime fans of Ephron, and Jones had a few choice words for Ephron's ex-husband Carl Bernstein, whose cheating led to a divorce that Ephron chronicled in the bestseller Heartburn, which was made into a movie with Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson.

"I was fascinated she got married again," Modell said.

Ephron, whose most famous line of dialogue is the classic "I'll have what she's having'' from When Harry Met Sally, talked a bit about her exes, a bit about everything, really. She told stories about working at the New York Post; her secret (though not anymore) bald spot; and her girl crush on Lillian Hellman (which eventually crashed and burned, the way many good love affairs do); and why she disapproves of egg-white-only omelets. (‘‘If you're going to eat an omelet it should have yolks in it!''). There were
even a few serious moments, during which she spoke about her mother's drinking.

But mostly, jokes and good humor ensued, ensuring the sort of night that book fair lovers remember fondly.

Helen Barrows of Coral Gables and Lisa Dority of South Miami, who volunteered at the fair more than 20 years ago, talked fondly about other authors they had seen and enjoyed immensely. The fair, Dority says, "makes me proud of Miami."

"I grew up in New York and I'm snooty about things in Miami," admitted Barrows. "But not the book fair. I love the book fair."

 

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