When I was young Carrie Fisher wasn’t cool. To my pre-teen mind, she was interchangeable and unrecognisable from Margo Kidder. This is pre-feminist Alice, pre any understanding of mental health Alice. And this Alice was scared (of everything, but that’s another story for another time).
In reality, all Carrie Fisher did “wrong” was be different, outspoken and intelligent. She wasn’t a woman I was told by society to be; one of the boys, amenable, appreciative of any attention from a man whether I wanted it or not, smile.
I was going to wait for the paperback before picking reading The Princess Diarist (to be published this November), but after reading the sample on my Kindle I knew it had to be mine.
“With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience” GoodReads.
I’d read Wishful Drinking by Fisher in my mid 20s after finding it on a charity bargain table in my local Coop. It must not have made much impact because I actually can’t remember anything about it. Not to say it was bad but more that sometimes I read without understanding. I don’t think I’ll have the same experience with The Princess Diarist.
Fisher talks through pre-Star Wars and post-Star Wars in this book, and while it was her skilful, engaging writing that drew me, it is her diary entries I won’t forget.
“I’m sorry it’s not Mark – it could’ve been. It should’ve been. It might’ve meant something. Maybe not much, but certainly more.”
For a 19-year-old she is incredibly articulate and self-aware. Her feelings during her affair with Harrison Ford are so familiar, reminding of me how I have felt, do feel, and probably will feel.
“Don’t offer me love
I seek disinterest and denial
Tenderness makes my skin crawl
Understanding is vile
When you offer me happiness
You offer too much
My ideal is a long-lasting loving
For someone whom I cannot quite touch.”
Who hasn’t felt like this?
“A woman’s place is in the home
Seated by the telephone
Men sow their wild oats
And Women are sown.”
When I was 19 I would never have been able to write anything critical of societal norms, hell I probably didn’t even recognise it. Perhaps due to my own lack of love affairs, but generally because I just wasn’t that smart or perceptive.
Before reading The Princess Diarist I felt as though I had grieved Leia, now I feel I’ve grieved Fisher too. I wish I could have met her (if only to do one of the many intense fan meetings she details).
Have you read any of Fisher’s memoirs?
* Image from loopnewsbarbados.com