“I feel I’m very sane about how crazy I am.”
Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking
In Wishful Drinking, the first in her series of memoirs, Carrie Fisher bares all. Taking us through growing up with celebrity parentage, her struggles with drug-use, and the guiding light that was the birth of her daughter Billie.
Now being a die-hard Star Wars fan, and following the tragic loss of our beloved Princess Leia back in December, I have been wanting to read Carrie’s books now more than ever.
I didn’t know exactly what to expect from this first book. I’ve seen Carrie often in interviews and she has been insanely funny and honest as heck, but I wasn’t expecting such brazen honesty as we got in this. Ranging from tales of her father’s debauchery to her persistent problems with pills, Carrie opens up with unfathomable wit and satire, something you just couldn’t imagine considering the deeply personal topics she chooses to speak so freely about.
In some ways I was a little disappointed with Wishful Drinking. It was less a traditional ‘tell your life story autobiography’ and more 162 pages that someone handed over to Carrie and said “Write whatever comes to your mind Carrie…just really roll with it!”. But I think that worked, because you could truly hear Carrie’s voice through the flow of the writing.
I struggle when Carrie talks about her experience working on Star Wars. Growing up with two brothers, Star Wars was an important part of my childhood, and no character reached out to me more than Princess Leia. She wasn’t your stereotypical ‘Princess’. She stood up to the bad guys, she took no nonsense from the men, and didn’t frivolously fall in love at first sight with the first one she saw. Yes, there was the whole “I love you” scene, with that infamous line (that I’m so happy Carrie disliked just as much as me!). But to me she was just the definition of a badass woman.
I hadn’t realised until part way through reading that the book was written based upon a one woman show that Carrie produced in early 2008, and was later immortalised as a HBO special for TV. Whilst I will later be trawling the interwebs for any remnants of this, it still pains me to think that I will never get to see Carrie live, or meet her. Times like these make you realise that you shouldn’t waste any opportunity that you have to meet your idols, as even though they may seem it on screen, they’re not immortal.
The one thing that made me completely break down during was how often she prematurely spoke about her death. To be thinking about it at the age of 52 seems so melancholy for someone with such a huge personality. But her ideas, while morose, were so fitting for someone of such magnitude as Carrie. And as I’ve begun with a quote, it only seems fitting that I should end with one from the great woman herself:
“I tell my younger friends that one day they’ll be at a bar playing pool and they’ll look up at the television set and there will be a picture of Princess Leia with two dates underneath, and they’ll say, “Awww—she said that would happen.”
Carrie Fisher – 1956 to 2016