20191116_211444.jpgWelcome to my stop on the Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge blog tour sponsored by Suzy Approved Book Tours! Thank you to Suzy for the invitation!

About the Book:

A remarkably candid biography of the remarkably candid—and brilliant—Carrie Fisher

In her 2008 bestseller, Girls Like Us, Sheila Weller—with heart and a profound feeling for the times—gave us a surprisingly intimate portrait of three icons: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon. Now she turns her focus to one of the most loved, brilliant, and iconoclastic women of our time: the actress, writer, daughter, and mother Carrie Fisher.

Weller traces Fisher’s life from her Hollywood royalty roots to her untimely and shattering death after Christmas 2016. Her mother was the spunky and adorable Debbie Reynolds; her father, the heartthrob crooner Eddie Fisher. When Eddie ran off with Elizabeth Taylor, the scandal thrust little Carrie Frances into a bizarre spotlight, gifting her with an irony and an aplomb that would resonate throughout her life.

We follow Fisher’s acting career, from her debut in Shampoo, the hit movie that defined mid-1970s Hollywood, to her seizing of the plum female role in Star Wars, which catapulted her to instant fame. We explore her long, complex relationship with Paul Simon and her relatively peaceful years with the talent agent Bryan Lourd. We witness her startling leap—on the heels of a near-fatal overdose—from actress to highly praised, bestselling author, the Dorothy Parker of her place and time.

Weller sympathetically reveals the conditions that Fisher lived with: serious bipolar disorder and an inherited drug addiction. Still, despite crises and overdoses, her life’s work—as an actor, a novelist and memoirist, a script doctor, a hostess, and a friend—was prodigious and unique. As one of her best friends said, “I almost wish the expression ‘one of a kind’ didn’t exist, because it applies to Carrie in a deeper way than it applies to others.”

Sourced by friends, colleagues, and witnesses to all stages of Fisher’s life, Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge is an empathic and even-handed portrayal of a woman who—as Princess Leia, but mostly as herself—was a feminist heroine, one who died at a time when we need her blazing, healing honesty more than ever.

My Thoughts:

I just love biographies, memoirs, and autobiographies, especially when they are about someone I’ve “known” most of my life. Like many from my generation, I fell for Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. I thought she was mesmerizingly beautiful and magical. Most of all, she was formidable, and little did I know, the actor was just as strong as the character.

Later in my life, I vaguely remember interviews with Carrie after the drug overdose, and also one with her mother, when she talked about her life, including her father’s affair with Elizabeth Taylor. I can remember a short-run talent show where she mentored young movie producers. She was opinionated, even fierce, but wow, did she ever know her craft.

This book shines a light on aspects of Carrie’s life and unique personality. I was enthralled reading about her relationship with Paul Simon, and I was saddened each time I read about her difficulties with Bipolar, addiction, and mental health. Carrie was so many things to so many people,  and those afflictions did not define her. They may have limited her lifespan, but they didn’t limit her imprint left behind on so many who knew and loved her.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent immersed in this glimpse into Carrie Fisher’s life. My image of her magic and her strength are still in tact, and while I’m certainly much more aware of her complexity and the difficulty in her life, I’m even more in awe of her strength and talent.

I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Sheila Weller is a bestselling author and award-winning magazine journalist specializing in women’s lives, social issues, cultural history, and feminist investigative.

Her seventh book, The News Sorority: Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour – and the Triumph of Women in TV News, will be a major release from Penguin-Random House on September 30, 2014.

Her sixth book was the critically acclaimed Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon — And The Journey of a Generation (2008). A New York Times Bestseller for 8 weeks, it is featured in numerous Women’s Studies programs at major universities, was chosen as one of the Best Books of 2008 by Library Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, Amazon.com, and Tina Brown’s DailyBeast. Girls Like Us is in active development as a motion picture with Sony.

Her 2003 family memoir Dancing At Ciro’s “makes a substantial contribution to American social history,” said The Washington Post.

Her four previous books (including the #2 New York Times bestseller Raging Heart) were well-regarded, news-breaking nonfiction accounts of high profile crimes against women and their social and legal implications.

She is a writer for Vanity Fair, has been Senior Contributing Editor of Glamour since 2002, is a former Contributing Editor to New York, a reviewer for The New York Times Book Review, and has written and writes for numerous other magazines for many years.

She has won nine major magazine awards between 1994 and 2012:

She won a record six Newswomen’s Club of New York Front Page Awards.

She won two Exceptional Merit in Media Awards from The National Women’s Political Caucus.

She was one of three winners, for her body of work, for Magazine Feature Writing on a Variety of Subjects in the 2005 National Headliners Award.

She is married to esteemed history writer John Kelly (The Graves Are Walking, about the Irish Famine, and The Great Mortality, about the Black Death).

She lives in New York City and in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

Have you read Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR