Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge by Sheila Weller
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 11/12/19
eBook review copies; 416 pages
hardcover ISBN-13: 9780374282233

Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge by Sheila Weller is a highly recommended biography of the well-known actor, best-selling author, and advocate for mental health awareness.

As the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Carrie Fisher began her life in the public eye and her fame followed her through her entire life. Many people immediately associate Fisher with her iconic role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, while others immediately think of her many books. She honestly covered many of her life events and struggles in her books. It is well known that she struggled with drug addiction and bipolar disorder, but it is also known that she openly and honestly shared her struggles. She had well-known parents, romantic partners, and friends, as well as a sometimes exuberant, sometimes troubled, complicated life.

While many people will know a lot of the information, what Weller does is bring all the facts and faucets of Fisher's life together in one biography and captures all the aspects of Fisher as a special individual. She was a devoted friend, generous, witty, brilliant, out-spoken, and unique. She worked as an actor, a novelist, a memoirist, a script doctor, and an advocate for mental health awareness. Included are many interviews with Fisher's friends, lovers, associates, and family members covering her entire life. Her well-known battles with addiction and mental illness are covered. The book includes many quotes and stories. Weller has an extensive section of chapter notes in the back so all the information she shares is well documented through other sources.

This is a well-written combination of exhaustive facts, information, and quotes alongside a lot of name dropping. While I admittedly became a bit weary of the name dropping, all of these people were a part of Fisher's life and are as much a part of her life story as she is of theirs. This is an unauthorized biography, but it is also not a hack-piece. Weller has done her research, has notes included about everything, and presented Fisher as a beloved woman with her own personal struggles. Fans of Fisher, either Star Wars or her writing, will appreciate this comprehensive biography.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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