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Cover for Left on Tenth

Left on Tenth

A Second Chance at Life: A Memoir

Delia Ephron


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The beloved writer of romantic comedies tells her own late-in-life love story, complete with a tragic second act and joyous resolution.

Delia Ephron tried to disconnect her late husband’s landline and crashed her internet. After a prolonged battle with Verizon, she did what she always does. She wrote about it, channeling her grief and frustration into a New York Times op ed. Months later, she got an email to commiserate from a man she’d had two dates with while in college, 54 years ago. She didn’t remember him but he remembered her. After three weeks of mutually passionate emails and 60s folk songs, he flew across the country to see her. They were crazily in love.

What could go wrong?  Acute Myeloid Leukemia, which also took her beloved older sister, struck her three months into this new blissful life.  

Because Delia Ephron survived and is a singular writer who tells her story in a way that brings you right next to her and seesaws you between tears and laughter, in this memoir, you will join her, going inside the giddy highs (even the initial falling in love emails are here) and the suicidal lows of enduring cutting-edge treatment (accurately presented and vetted by her amazing team of doctors) for a life-threatening cancer.

The collision of love and illness makes for a traumatic but ultimately redemptive roller coaster ride, which Ephron writes with page-turning drama. With Peter’s devotion, with close friends and family buoying her with hope, with startling clarity, warmth, and honesty about facing death, Delia invites us to join her team of warriors and become believers ourselves.

Praise For Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life: A Memoir

"Delia Ephron’s stunning Left on Tenth will make you believe in love again, and also in miracles. And it’s so very, very funny."—Sarah Dunn, author of The Arrangements

“Delia masterfully and hilariously reminds us that there is always more life to be found just around the corner. A powerful, beautiful, life affirming testament to hope and meaning in the darkest hour. Somehow it felt like the answers to all of the big questions were immediately lurking in the text, and like any decent existentialist and searcher, I couldn’t put it down and finished it in one sitting.”
 —Natasha Lyonne, Emmy-nominated actress, writer, and producer

“Only someone with a heart of stone could resist the charms of Delia Ephron's tender, moving story of late-life love and illness. Ephron writes with singular transparency of her treatment for leukemiathe same disease that killed her sister seven years earlierand the unbearable terror and pain she suffered. But Ephron is at heart a writer naturally drawn to light who finds joy and humor even in life's darkest corners. This wonderful memoir is an ode to the enduring power of love and friendship.”
 —Joanna Rakoff, bestselling author of My Salinger Year

“Oh, huge-hearted Delia Ephron! I loved this book. It’s a memoir about grief and illness, but it’s also basically a love letter to her people, and it’s a gorgeous one. Because here is someone who chooses joy over and over again—who chooses friendship and love, like a fountain of gratitude that turns despair into a glittery, rainbow-scattering spray of light. Her lucky friends! Forgive yourself for wishing you were one of them.”—Catherine Newman, author of Catastrophic Happiness: Finding Joy in Childhood's Messy Years

Little, Brown and Company, 9780316267656, 304pp.

Publication Date: April 12, 2022

About the Author

Delia Ephron is a best-selling author, screenwriter, essayist, and playwright.  Her novels include the New York Times best seller Siracusa and The Lion Is In.  She has written books of essays – most recently SisterMotherHusbandDog, etc.—as well as books of humor, including How To Eat Like A Child, and books for children and young adults.  Her movie credits include “You’ve Got Mail,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” “This is My Life,” “Michael” and “Hanging Up” (based on her novel).  Her play, “Love, Loss, and What I Wore,” written with her sister Nora Ephron (based on the book by Ilene Beckerman), ran for two years off Broadway and has been performed all over the world. Her memoir Left On Tenth will be published by Little Brown in April 2022.