Festival of Books
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Nora Ephron
Daum: Under Nora's wing
Daum: Under Nora's wing

If you're a particular kind of writer, the kind with a taste for "social observation" and a belief in the divine partnership of unbridled humor and unapologetic honesty, Nora Ephron, who died Tuesday, almost certainly fell into the category of Central Influence. If you're a particularly lucky writer, Nora was not only an influence but a sort of literary mother hen with a cashmere-clad wing outstretched. She was a connector, a cajoler, a cheerleader — maybe even a friend. I was among those lucky ones. Not that I knew her well. To be friends with Nora in this way was not so much about seeing her but about being set up with other friends of hers. Sometimes these...

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