cover image Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge

Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge

Sheila Weller. FSG/Sarah Crichton, $28 (416p) ISBN 978-0-374-28223-3

Actress and author Carrie Fisher (1956–2016) is celebrated for her wit and strength in this comprehensive biography by journalist Weller (The News Sorority). Fisher—daughter of actors Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher—got her break at 19 when she was cast as Princess Leia in Star Wars, a role that Weller says turned Fisher into a “feminist action hero.” The author does a fine job charting the light and dark aspects of Fisher’s story, which includes a career as a bestselling author and battles with drug addiction and bipolar disorder. Weller discusses Fisher’s cocaine use and her attempts to get sober; her marriage to singer Paul Simon; her codependent bond with her mother; and her creative process (“all of her books would be written by her sketching the words on a notepad while flopped on her bed, with editors often on the premises”). Along the way, Weller shares snippets of her interviews with Fisher’s friends, including Richard Dreyfuss and Salman Rushdie, who lament Fisher’s passing, and praises Fisher for her bold tongue, adding: “She died just before her brand of raunchily self-styled feminism, a candor she possessed all her life, swept over her town, her industry, America.” Weller insightfully illuminates the life of a powerful performer and wordsmith who was unafraid to share her struggles with the world. (Nov.)