If I could only read one category of book for the rest of my life it would probably be memoir. I’ve always been a fan of the genre whether they’re written by regular folks with a sense of humor, survivors of strange upbringings and of course celebrity memoirs. During Cannonball Ten I have been revisiting a few of these old favorites by listening to the audio-book to glean any additional insights narration may offer. I read and reviewed Carrie Fisher’s 2016 memoir The Princess Diarist last year for CBR9, just a few weeks after her untimely death, but for my award winner bingo square I went back and listened to the audio-book for which Fisher posthumously won a Grammy.* Fisher is an ideal narrator, she was previously nominated for Postcards from the Edge and Wishful Drinking, and while this is one of her weaker memoirs her award is well deserved.
Carrie focuses her energy on her experiences filming Star Wars: A New Hope, primarily her affair with a married Harrison Ford, and living through the Star Wars phenomena. As always Carrie is charming, open and honest with her readers and her narration only adds to the feeling that you’re just gossiping about yesteryear with a close friend.
Besides, this Star Wars fame meant that Princess Leia was famous and not Carrie Fisher. I just happened to look like her- minus her bad hair, and plus less conspicious bad hair all my own.
Carrie has a lot of thoughts about her second life as Princess Leia which are actually more interesting than her revelations about her on set love affair.
I liked being Princess Leia. Or Princess Leia’s being me. Over time I thought that we’d melded into one. I don’t think you could think of Leia without my lurking in that thought somewhere.
My one complaint about The Princess Diarist is it feels a bit rushed. If this hadn’t come out a month before Carrie passed away (and the prohibitive costs that would have been involved with getting her to narrate from beyond the grave) I would think it was rushed to press slightly unfinished following her death. I really enjoyed the first section of the book which focuses on the filming of Star Wars and Carrison but I felt like there was a lot left unsaid about the forty years that followed A New Hope, especially since this was written after she went back to the Star Wars universe for The Force Awakens the year prior to this book’s publication.
*Choosing a book off the Grammy nominations and winners proved harder than I thought, particularly in a year I’ve purposely sought out audio-book memoirs.
Other grammy award winning and nominated audio-books I’ve read and reviewed in the last eighteen months:
Bruce Springsteen: Born to Run
Carol Burnett: In Good Company (winner)
Neil deGrasse Tyson: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Amy Poehler: Yes Please
Tina Fey: Bossypants
Carrie Fisher: Wishful Drinking