Book Review: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

26025989The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie.

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience. (Synopsis from Goodreads.com)

Rating: 8/10

On December, 27 2016, the world lost an amazing woman. Not just because of her role as Princess Leia, but also for her work as a screenwriter, novelist, and mental health advocate. Carrie Fisher meant a lot to a lot of us for various reasons. To me, she played the first character that I truly looked up to. Princess Leia taught me not to take crap from anyone, and that a woman can be whatever she wants to be, including but not limited to a leader of a rebellion. Something that, given the current state of things, is inspiring.

After someone like Carrie Fisher passes away, someone who has left us with a body of work to remember them by, I find that the best way to honor them is to read, watch, or listen to their work. In this case, I watched Star Wars and read The Princess Diarist.

At times, it was difficult to read as there are moments when she talks about a future that she will sadly never see, but overall, The Princes Diarist was well worth the read. Fisher, as always, is unapologetic and honest about her time as Princess Leia. Throughout this book, Fisher talks  in depth but her affair with Harrison Ford as well her constant struggle to be who everyone wanted her to be, or at least what she believed everyone wanted from her. Through her journal, we are given a glimpse into her life during filming while also getting her insights on that time of her life.

To many young women, Fisher’s feelings about herself and the world around her are rather familiar. The desire to appear more mature and worldly than we really are, to appear cool and confident despite the crippling self-doubt, is something that many of us have been through. In Fisher’s examination of her younger self, we at times see ourselves. However, in this case we have the advantage to hearing the wisdom of a woman who has experienced it all, and she certainly leaves us with some solid advice.

Fisher’s signature self-deprecating humor balances out the bleak tone of her diary entries and leaves us  with an insightful and rather memorable memoir about a woman that we will sorely miss.

Memorable Quotes

“I don’t believe people are across-the-board confident. If they are…well, they’ve misjudged the situation where there’s an arrogant result. Mostly people have those few things they do well and hope those things make up for the other shit.”

“I must be who I am and people adjust to it. Don’t try to rush or influence the decision. Do not let what you think they think of you make you stop and question everything you are. Surely between the various yous, you can find that you not only have enough going for you to keep you going, but to “take you far.” Maybe even to Alderaan and back.”

“I should let people I meet do the work of piecing me together until they can complete, or mostly complete, the puzzle. And when they’re finished they can look at the picture that they’ve managed to piece together and decide whether they like it or not. On their own time. Let them discover you.”

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