Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge by Sheila Weller

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Carrie Fisher’s name? I highly doubt anyone’s answer would be anything other than the iconic Princess Leia from Star Wars, right?

But this beloved actress was so much more than cinnamon bun hair and a golden bikini. She was a mother, a writer, a script doctor, and a fiercely loyal friend to so many.

In her 2008 bestseller, Girls Like Us, Sheila Weller―with heart and a profound feeling for the times―gave us a surprisingly intimate portrait of three icons: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon. Now she turns her focus to one of the most loved, brilliant, and iconoclastic women of our time: the actress, writer, daughter, and mother Carrie Fisher.

I was born just a few years after the original Star Wars was released, so my 80’s childhood was chock full of light sabers and cliche sayings like “May the Force Be With You” and “I Am Your Father”, and for a little girl like me – Princess Leia was my kind of princess. I gravitated more towards her than any frilly, pink cartoon in the Disney movies. She was bold, and fearless, and exactly what I wanted in a heroine.

But being such an iconic figure and huge celebrity definitely came with a price for Carrie, and she struggled most of her life with addiction, mental illness, and feelings of inadequacy. And this book delves into a lot of that – and sheds light on what a strong and no BS woman she was… so similar to that princess I adored back in the 80s.

The book leaves no details of Carrie’s life out and has a TON of juicy Hollywood gossip! We learn about her famous parents, America’s screen darling Debbie Reynolds and heartthrob crooner Eddie Fisher, and how she yearned to come out from under their shadows. Their tumultuous relationship paved the way for several rocky romances in Carrie’s own life including the highly publicized marriage to Paul Simon among others.

In almost every aspect of her life, drugs and alcohol were prevalent. Even up until her recent death. She battled bipolar disorder like a stormtrooper and did everything to not let it define her. Although full of stories of overdoses and hospital visits, this look into her life shines such a light on WHO Carrie was – and she was nothing short of amazing.

The interviews praise her humor, her candor and honesty, and how everyone wanted to be her friend – and not because she was Leia – but because she was Carrie.

I’ve always adored Carrie Fisher, because she seems like the feminist icon we all need these days. Her brevity, individuality, and strength was like a hurricane that people gravitated towards, including myself. I loved her book, Postcards from the Edge, she doctored scripts of some of my favorite movies, including Drop Dead Fred and The Wedding Singer, and after seeing her in Wishful Drinking on Broadway, I ached for days afterwards because of laughing so hard.

“Bestselling author Weller shares a heartfelt tribute to the late Carrie Fisher―a complex portrait of the actress, her struggles and her extraordinary singularity. A Life on Edge is a fitting and beautiful homage to Fisher.” Juliana Rose Pignataro, Newsweek

This book is a beautiful ode to a woman who was so brilliant, and yet so troubled. And even though the force may not have always been with her… Carrie Fisher WAS a force all on her own.

Thank you to Suzy Approved Book Tours, Sheila Weller, and FSG Books for my gifted copy of this book.

You can get a copy here!

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  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books (November 12, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374282234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374282233


About the Book:

indexWeller traces Fisher’s life from her Hollywood royalty roots to her untimely and shattering death after Christmas 2016. Her mother was the spunky and adorable Debbie Reynolds; her father, the heartthrob crooner Eddie Fisher. When Eddie ran off with Elizabeth Taylor, the scandal thrust little Carrie Frances into a bizarre spotlight, gifting her with an irony and an aplomb that would resonate throughout her life.

We follow Fisher’s acting career, from her debut in Shampoo, the hit movie that defined mid-1970s Hollywood, to her seizing of the plum female role in Star Wars, which catapulted her to instant fame. We explore her long, complex relationship with Paul Simon and her relatively peaceful years with the talent agent Bryan Lourd. We witness her startling leap―on the heels of a near-fatal overdose―from actress to highly praised, bestselling author, the Dorothy Parker of her place and time.

Weller sympathetically reveals the conditions that Fisher lived with: serious bipolar disorder and an inherited drug addiction. Still, despite crises and overdoses, her life’s work―as an actor, a novelist and memoirist, a script doctor, a hostess, and a friend―was prodigious and unique. As one of her best friends said, “I almost wish the expression ‘one of a kind’ didn’t exist, because it applies to Carrie in a deeper way than it applies to others.”

Sourced by friends, colleagues, and witnesses to all stages of Fisher’s life, Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge is an empathic and even-handed portrayal of a woman who―as Princess Leia, but mostly as herself―was a feminist heroine, one who died at a time when we need her blazing, healing honesty more than ever.

About the Author:


11-pQFjSAzL._SY200_Sheila Weller is a best-selling author and award-winning magazine journalist specializing in women’s lives, social issues, cultural history, and feminist investigative.

Her latest book, “The News Sorority: Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour – and the Triumph of Women in TV News,” is a lively and detailed story of three very particular lives and a testament to the extraordinary character of women everywhere.

Her sixth book was the critically acclaimed “Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon — And The Journey of a Generation.” On the New York Times Bestseller list for 8 weeks, it has sold over 170,000 copies, is featured in numerous Women’s Studies programs at major universities, and was chosen as one of the Best Books of 2008 by Library Journal, The Christian Science Monitor,, and Tina Brown’s DailyBeast.

Her previous books, including the New York Times bestseller “Raging Heart,” have included well-regarded, news-breaking nonfiction accounts of high profile crimes against women and their social and legal implications.

She is a writer for Vanity Fair, a Senior Contributing Editor for Glamour, a former Contributing Editor for New York, a reviewer for The New York Times, and has written and writes for numerous other magazines.

She has won nine major magazine awards, including six Newswomen’s Club of New York Front Page Awards and two Exceptional Merit in Media Awards from The National Women’s Political Caucus, and she was one of three winners, for her body of work, for Magazine Feature Writing on a Variety of Subjects in the 2005 National Headliners Award.



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