The Princess Diarist
Author: Carrie Fisher
I liked being Princess Leia. Or Princess Leia being me. Over time I thought we’d melded into one…So Princess Leia are us.
It’s the story all Star Wars fans have been craving since the beginning. Carrie Fisher, with her wit and sharp sense of self, telling the story that’s been kept safely hidden in her diaries that she’d long forgotten about from her days as Princess Leia of Alderaan and rebel leader oof the rebellion. Rediscovering the words of her youth and naivety, she navigates through the life she had as a princess and how she looks back on it. Intimate and revealing from one of the most popular sets of all time, as well as behind the scenes of it. Outright hilarious and entertaining, Carrie Fisher tells all and she’s not censoring any of it. Not the cringeworthy audition or the truth of the ship: Carrison.
To this day, I still miss Carrie Fisher. The woman had a powerful voice whether she realized it or not. A part of me just thinks that she thought she was just being frank, loud, and giving no fucks, which is also possible. I wonder if she knew that she was more than a sex icon, a space princess, and a woman with astounding comedy. But, that she was also the rebel for people who wished they could be heard. She was that for me, and I don’t just say that because I can relate to her and we shared the same birthday. She carried a power to be inspiring and bold, and to never let anyone bring down, especially if you bring yourself down already. If someone was being an asshole she told them. That’s important. It’s important to speak up for yourself. I wish she were still here.
On to the book!
I adored this book as I adore one of my favorite outspoken and bold rebels and heroes, Carrie Fisher. I also loved LOVED Star Wars. One hell of an epic space adventure. Her style of writing matched that over her voice and the way she approaches everything she is and does to a perfect tee. I could hear her so clearly in my head as if she were directly telling me her story and I was just sitting there like a little kid with their legs crossed and their chin propped in their hands, enthralled by this story.
The story is one only she can tell and I loved that she told it. I’ve only ever heard a few bitts here and there about her time on Star Wars; the most popular one is her time not wearing a bra because there were no bras in space. I loved it even more that she was bluntly honest, even when she couldn’t entirely recall specific details. That’s how it is when you tell a story. You don’t always remember everything and sometimes you have to go back when you do. It’s okay. She knew the story and knew it was hers. The fact that not all of the pieces were there doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. She knew it did. THAT’S what mattered. These moments also provided humor.
And there was so much humor. I was giggling up a storm. And while there were these moments that I felt like I could laugh with her, there were moments that were very serious in her life. Moments that she worried and wondered what the hell she was doing and that’s the way it is for all of us. The moments regarding her mother, Debbie, and her…fling-a-ring-ting?…with Harrison weren’t just spotlights, but human moments that she was just trying to navigate. The drama was there, but so was reality, mingling with it, even though sometimes they got a little lost.
In the midst, the epicenter, of this bewildering story were some of the actual pages of her diary from her time on Star Wars. From prose to poetry to exploration blerbs, her thoughts are laid bare in some of the most incredible writing I’ve ever come across. Vivid with emotions, I was blown away.
Don’t offer me love
I seek disinterest and denial
Tenderness makes my skin crawl
Understanding is vile
When you offer me happiness
You offer too much
My ideal is a long-lasting longing
For someone whom I cannot quite touch
Within these pages, Carrie Fisher has answered a question that feels like it’s more to herself than it is the to the world. How does she separate from Princess Leia? Does it bother her that that’s how people will see her forever? Speaking for myself, I know she’s much more than a princess, though that’s how I came to know her at first. Hell, one time she was a nun (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), but that’s besides the point. She answered the grand questions with humorous humility, in knowing that she is this princess and that without her, her life would never be what it was. And she’d never change a thing. No regrets. For that, I’m glad.
This is a book that really captured me. Definitely one I had to keep both hands on (metaphorically) in order to keep up with it. It was special to get such a close glimpse at something so special for Carrie Fisher. From how the story of Star Wars unfolded to her time spent alone in the dark with Harrison to the conventions that she attended, she divulged more than I expected and her take on this entire adventure with met with nothing but love and light. I loved it. It’s made the loss of such a strong and beautiful and interesting figure that much heavier.
“Kidding yourself doesn’t require that you have a sense of humor. But a sense of humor comes in handy for almost everything else.” (p. 12)
“I’m no liar. I need you to trust that or stop reading. Recollections might differ with regard to the smaller details, but I don’t think my perceptions are distorted.” (p. 51)
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper.
Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.
What a lovely review of a great memoir! You captured everything I felt reading this perfectly- it really feels like Carrie is there, speaking to you on every page and it’s infused with humour and affection at all times.
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