I just read Nora Ephron’s short autobiographical piece in the October 11 New Yorker. (In case you don’t know who Nora Ephron is: she is an author and a screenplay writer. Her best known screenplay is “When Harry Met Sally.”) My life as an heiress http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/11/101011fa_fact_ephron
rides the razor’s edge between being funny and vividly truthful. Nora was not really an heiress, but she had a proverbial rich uncle. She also had three sisters, so whatever legacy her uncle would eventually leave her would be divided four ways. Nora and her sisters waited and waited for the inheritance, but when it finally arrived, the amount was much lower than they had expected. They would never be rich. What is particularly interesting about this memoir is the inter-family plotting and rivalries surrounding the expected pot of gold. There are many far sadder stories, however, about much larger inheritances.
Unfortunately, the online version of this memoir is only a summary. To read the “real thing,” you have to buy the October 11 issue.