Since she passed away last month, I’ve heard numerous stories of letters written by Nora Ephron — generous letters which were, more often than not, heartwarming, positive, and laced with humour. Below is just one example, written in 1994 to Elizabeth Wurtzel in response to a request to supply a blurb for Prozac Nation, the acclaimed memoir of her battle with depression. If only all refusals were so pleasant.
Dear Elizabeth Wurtzel:
I’m sorry not to have written sooner, but your letter and book landed in a pile that other things got on top of. I finally read P.N. and I think you are a brilliant and funny writer. I don’t give quotes, took myself out of the quote business years ago when my vet wrote a book (I had pets once) and asked for a quote. Not to link you with my vet. Anyway, you are truly wonderful and so is your book and I hope they do not send you to places like Detroit to promote it, which could make even a person with no history of depression depressed. I cannot imagine that you would ever want to write a screenplay, but if you ever do, call me up. I’m in the book.