Remembering Carrie Fisher's literary career
Carrie Fisher may be best remembered for her iconic role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, but she also leaves behind a tremendous literary legacy, which includes five novels, three memoirs, multiple scripts, and hilarious comedic prose.
Fisher, who died Tuesday at age 60, penned her first novel, Postcards From the Edge, in 1987 just after she went to rehab following a near-fatal drug overdose. The book told the story of a young actress living in the shadow of her movie star mother — a tale extremely similar to Fisher’s own life as the daughter of acclaimed actress Debbie Reynolds.
Postcards launched Fisher’s literary career, as the novel was deemed a witty, intimate portrayal of fame and drug use. EW called it “a sardonic and snappy roman a clef” when the novel became a feature film starring Meryl Streep, directed by Mike Nichols.
From there, Fisher went on to write four more novels — Surrender The Pink, Delusions of Grandma, Hollywood Moms, and The Best Awful There Is — before publishing her first memoir, 2008’s Wishful Drinking, which was based on her one-woman show by the same name. In the collection, Fisher’s humor shines as she recounts her experiences with electroshock therapy, dealing with bipolar disorder and addiction, and life in the spotlight. In EW’s B+ review, Lisa Schwarzbaum wrote that Fisher is “funny as hell” and that her voice was “freer” than it was in her novels.
And Fisher’s final book, The Princess Diarist, left no detail in the vault. Detailing her time on the Star Wars sets, the autobiography spins eye-opening tales of an illicit affair with co-star Harrison Ford and Fisher’s own coming to terms with her success as Princess Leia. “There’s tremendous insight into the volatile heart of a young woman, seen through the eyes of her wiser, older self still seeking her place in the universe,” EW’s Anthony Breznican writes in his review.
The pages in Fisher’s books brim with quotable moments, with musings on death, life, love, drugs, and family. Via Amazon Kindle, EW has compiled the most popular passages from two of her memoirs, Wishful Drinking and The Princess Diarist. See the best quotes below.
1. “If my life wasn’t funny it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.”
2. “I heard someone say once that many of us only seem able to find heaven by backing away from hell.”
3. “You know how they say that religion is the opiate of the masses? Well, I took masses of opiates religiously.”
4. “I didn’t necessarily feel like dying—but I’d been feeling a lot like not being alive.”
5. “One of my dozens of psychiatrists once told me that it’s important to be able to distinguish the difference between a problem and an inconvenience.”
6. “But no matter what the dictionary says, in my opinion, a problem derails your life and an inconvenience is not being able to get a nice seat on the un-derailed train.”
7. “My only intent was to feel better—which is to say, not to feel at all.”
8. “So it’s not what you’re given, it’s how you take it.”
9. “Samuel Johnson once said that remarrying (and he’s not talking about marrying the same person here, just remarrying) is the ‘triumph of hope over experience.’ So for me, remarrying the same person is the triumph of nostalgia over judgment.”
10. “I heard someone once say that we’re only as sick as our secrets.”
1. “I had never been Princess Leia before and now I would be her forever. I would never not be Princess Leia. I had no idea how profoundly true that was and how long forever was.”
2. “If you have a penis and a job, being handsome is a fantastic bonus but hardly a necessity.”
3. “Back then I was always looking ahead to who I wanted to be versus who I didn’t realize I already was, and the wished-for me was most likely based on who other people seemed to be and the desire to have the same effect on others that they had had on me.”
4. “Mum is the word for just so long and then it has to go back to being a British parent.”
5. “Because what can you do with people that like you, except, of course, inevitably disappoint them?”
6. “It’s a man’s world and show business is a man’s meal, with women generously sprinkled through it like overqualified spice.)”
7. “‘I’m a hick,’ I recall saying to him. ‘No,’ Harrison answered. ‘You think you’re less than you are. You’re a smart hick.’ And then, ‘You have the eyes of a doe and the balls of a samurai.'”
8. “We often assume that when the surface offers so little the depth must be unfathomable.”
9. “Do not let what you think they think of you make you stop and question everything you are.”
10. “George says that if you look at the person someone chooses to have ‘a relationship’ with, you’ll see what they think of themselves.”