Carrie Fisher’s death was a huge blow to me in a year already plagued by so much devastation. I grew up watching Star Wars, and Princess Leia was a hero to me. I admired her grit, sarcasm, and determination. She showed me there were many ways to be a strong and successful woman. Fisher herself was no shrinking violet, either. Up till now, I hadn’t read her personal biographies, but I so admired her candor when dealing with body shamers during the press tour for The Force Awakens that I realized I should *probably* read her books at some point. Last weekend, The Chancellor and I took our annual trip to Louisville, where I go to an annual professional conference in my field. We requested several Carrie Fisher audiobooks (read by her) and had a rollicking good time.
Fisher unpacks her family and history in Wishful Drinking, starting with being the child of celebrities and growing up unusually. She discusses her parents’ divorce and her growing up in the limelight only to get a high-profile role in a film that changed her life young. She also discusses with incredible frankness her struggles with her bipolar disorder, her addictions, and her decision to receive electro-convulsion therapy to deal with her mental illness. Fisher is funny but blunt, and her voice is evocative and unique.
This book had me laughing, but listened to after Fisher’s death is also deeply melancholy. She discusses wanting her eulogy to be read as being strangled to death in moonlight by her own bra, which shows how very much of an offbeat person she was. She deconstructs the idea of celebrity and the glamor of a celebrity lifestyle with levity, which makes for an interesting, thought-provoking, and just plain enjoyable read.
One note: READ THE AUDIOBOOK! She reads it herself, and while it’s melancholy to hear her voice now that she’s gone, it’s totally worth the experience.
Cross-posted to my blog.