More than a year after the death of younger sister Nora Ephron, Delia Ephron is out with a collection of essays that begins with a piece on losing her.
Nora Ephron died in 2012 at the age of 71 from complications of leukemia. She wrote and directed movies including "Sleepless in Seattle" and "Julie & Julia."
"I loved Nora," Delia Ephron tells USA Today, "but it was complicated. She was such a force. Our lives were so entangled. We borrowed lines from each other the way other sisters borrow dresses."
More from USA Today:
But the job of a younger sister, she writes in her new book, "is not to imitate but to differentiate."
She says, "Nora was interested in fame more than I am. It's an art form, being famous, and she was good at it."
Nora "loved being a director. You have to be decisive. You have to make 700 decisions a day. I wouldn't be good at that. Nora was."
Her new book, "Sister Mother Husband Dog (etc.)" pulls together pieces of her life, including her relationship with her mother, her dog Honey and her rocky first marriage.
She reports from the front lines of heartbreak, but frankly and with less sugarcoating than the post-Nora reader might expect. Full-throttle lugubriousness, after all, would be untrue to the brand...
In these 15 pieces, Ephron is not necessarily a crafter of beautiful sentences ("Being in a hospital sucks," she tells us), but the reader quickly intuits that poetic language is not her goal, and sorrow doesn't demand elegance. When the writing is most touching, it feels natural, unlabored, even conversational. Some "sibling stuff" is unabashedly aired; Delia takes this opportunity to recall lines attributed to Nora that were actually hers.
Ephron joins The Daily Circuit to talk about her new book. She is in town for the Twin Cities Book Festival this weekend.