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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Shockaholic--Carrie Fisher

I've read the previous memoir, Wishful Drinking and. . . well. . . I suppose enjoyed is not quite the right word for my experience with it--although my recollection of it was enough to make me pick this up when in the library.

This continues the story begun in Wishful Drinking and the title refers directly to Carrie Fisher's treatment for near suicidal depression and related psychiatric problems.  While the book does talk about and illuminate this aspect of her life, it doesn't stop there and dwell on things.  Indeed, the most substantial part of this book is a loving and in many ways compassionate memoir of her later life with her famous father Eddie Fisher.

I don't follow celebrity news or entanglements, so it came as something of a revelation to me (not of the fireworks and sudden dawn variety) that Elizabeth Taylor was, for some small part of Ms. Taylor's life, the step-mother of Carrie Fisher.  And you all say, "Well, duh!"  Told you I wasn't connected.

One point I did want to make about the book comes from a cover blurb, as this says it far better than I could:

"[Fisher] has a talent for lacerating insight that masquerades as carefree self-deprecation. . . The effect, ultimately, is extraordinarily painful while being extremely entertaining."

I enjoyed this book as well--though I'm not certain that enjoyed is again the right word.  I learned from it--I learned from it something about what it means to be famous, something about what it means to travel in the circles of the famous, and something about what it means to be human--especially a human being in pain.  Whether she intended to do so or not, Ms. Fisher's observations in the book can teach each of something about what it means to love and to be loved.

Funny, biting, tender, forthright, utterly fascinating, truly, deeply, compassionately human and humane--the book is all of these things.  I wish Ms. Fisher health, well-being, and a continuation of the ability to inform and enlighten.


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