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Julie Powell

She was a year ahead of me at Amherst and I didn’t know her personally, but we had a lot of mutual friends so of course I knew who she was. I remember vividly seeing her in a play thinking, wow—that’s the star of the department. (She was Julia Foster, at the time.)

Even now, my memory of her is seeing her sitting and laughing with friends in the mess hall, a very ebullient and well-liked presence. She was so obviously talented.

When her blog blew up, became a bestselling book and then a very good film—she was portrayed by Amy Adams—I was proud, because it was one of our own making it big.

So now my group of friends from school will email each other, “Can you believe it?” Because you sort of can’t.

So very sad.

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