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Author Nora Ephron passes away at 71

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It has now been confirmed that author, screenwriter Nora Ephron has passed away at the age of 71.

Entertainment columnist Liz Smith first broke the news on the wowOwow.com website, but the page is no longer up on the site, replaced with a column about Warren Beatty.

However, "The Washington Post" published an online article this afternoon, also confirming the author's passing. The news was confirmed by her friend, "Post" columnist Richard Cohen, who also confirmed that the cause of death was complications from the blood disorder myelodysplasia; she had been diagnosed with the disease six years ago.

Ephron's career was stellar, the lady was a combination of ascerbic wit and deep romanticism. She was the screenwriter for some now classic films -- "When Harry Met Sally", "Heartburn," -- both adapted from her novels -- "Sleepless in Seattle," and Meryl Streep's star turn, "Silkwood." Her screenplays had a touch of the bittersweet mixed with the comedy or the drama. They turned actors into stars and drew movie goers by the millions.

But Nora Ephron's novels were, and still are, loved by women who devoured them as quickly as she published them. They were full of the same self-deprecating humor and pathos as the films that she wrote. When her last book, "I Remember Nothing" came out, Ephron wrote a letter to her fans.

"I have a book coming out called 'I Remember Nothing', and it will probably not surprise you to hear that I can’t recall how I came to write it", Ephron wrote.

"I notice that most authors who write about their books on their Amazon page know exactly when inspiration struck, and they describe this Eureka moment quite eloquently. But I don’t have a clue about mine. There had to have been a blinding flash when I realized I had to write something about Age and Memory, but, as I said, I remember nothing, and my guess is that this shimmering insight was followed in short order by my forgetting I’d had the idea in the first place. And then I had the idea again. And forgot it again. Until finally, miraculously, it stuck."

Ms. Ephron is survived by her third husband, author Nicholas Pileggi, and an amazing body of work.

Lexington, have you read any of Ms. Ephron's books or seen the movies she screenwrote? Have any memories you'd share with me? Tell me in the comments; I'd love to know.

You can find Nora Ephron's books or films through all online booksellers as well as locally from Joseph-Beth Booksellers in the Lexington Green Mall on Nicholasville Road or Barnes & Noble in the Hamburg Pavilion Shopping Center at Man o' War Blvd and Sir Barton Way.

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