In 1974, legendary writer Nora Ephron discovered that her husband, journalist Carl Bernstein, was cheating on her. But rather than let the revelation crush her, the late essayist used it as fodder for her novel "Heartburn," a roman à clef loosely based on the affair and its aftermath.

In the clip above, Ephron, who served as HuffPost Divorce's editor-at-large before her death in June 2012, talks about the the moment she knew she was ready to write -- and even laugh -- about her husband's affair and the couple's subsequent divorce.

"One day I was sitting at the typewriter writing something else and I started writing a novel about the end of my marriage," Ephron says around the 1:40 mark in the video. "I thought, 'Oh, I see, I've reached that day when it has become something I can be funny about.'"

Published in 1983, "Heartburn" became an instant success and was adapted into a film starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson in 1986.

"I'm really not interested in women as victims," Ephron says in the clip. "One of the things I like about 'Heartburn' is that it's basically, 'Look what happened to me and guess what? I have the last laugh because I get to be funny about it.'"

Ephron's interview is part of the documentary "MAKERS: Women Who Make America," a joint project between AOL and PBS which chronicles how women have shaped America over the past 50 years. The documentary will air on PBS next Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 8:00pm EST.

Watch the video above for more from Ephron's "MAKERS" interview, then click through the slideshow below to read some of the most memorable quotes from "Heartburn."

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