Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds: Writers We’ll Miss
In 2016, we lost many of film and music’s greatest, ending with the deaths of two of Hollywood’s most beloved stars, mother-and-daughter duo Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. Not only were they show-stopping performers, but they were celebrated writers as well. I grew up watching “Singin’ in the Rain” with my mother, and always waited impatiently for “Halloweentown” to come on television each October. Recently I fell in love with the Star Wars franchise (better late than never, right?) and developed great respect for Carrie Fisher because of her work as a mental illness awareness, female rights, and addiction rehab advocate. As such, I thought it only right to commemorate the lives of these great women with a list of their significant contributions to literature.
1Postcards from the Edge
In her first novel, Carrie Fisher drew on her own experiences in Hollywood and with addiction to tell the story of Suzanne Vale, a young actress in the harrowing and hilarious throes of drug rehabilitation. A semi-autobiographical novel, POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE chronicles Suzanne’s vivid, and often funny, experiences inside a drug rehab clinic and takes a revealing look at addiction.
2Surrender the Pink
Carrie used her own experiences with scriptwriting to shape the story of Dinah Kaufman, a soap opera scriptwriter who blurs the borders between her real life and her scripts as she follows her ex-husband and his new love to the Hamptons. True to Carrie’s work as a female rights advocate, this is a comical and touching novel about learning to move on from a past relationship.
3Delusions Of Grandma
With her writing partner on a “bipolar roller coaster,” her dear friend succumbing to AIDS, and the end of her romance, Hollywood screenwriter Cora Sharpe has more than enough on her plate when she discovers she’s pregnant. In an attempt to flee from her problems, Cora joins her mother on a cross-country trip to kidnap her Alzheimer’s-stricken father from a nursing home and return him to his birthplace.
4The Best Awful
In this sequel to POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE, Carrie returns to Suzanne Vale, incorporating her own experiences with mental illness to take an intense—and humorous—look at bipolar disorder. When Suzanne decides to go off her meds, the results are disastrous. Suzanne’s “manic” side leads her to get a tattoo, cut off her hair, and head to Mexico, while her “depressive” side puts her through a series of surreal psychotic episodes before landing her in a mental hospital.
After writing 4 semi-autobiographical novels, Carrie finally came clean about her life in her first memoir, WISHFUL DRINKING. From being born a product of “Hollywood in-breeding” to coming of age on the set of "Star Wars" to becoming a cultural icon and bestselling action figure by the age of 19, WISHFUL DRINKING is hilarious and sobering as the actress takes readers behind the scenes of her bizarre reality.
Carrie Fisher’s second memoir is the ultimate story from a Hollywood insider. As the daughter of Hollywood royalty, Carrie grew up with a firsthand view of stardom. In this memoir, she shares never-before-heard tales of Hollywood gossip, moments of celebrity desperation, familiar relationships of Hollywood royalty, and scandalous run-ins with noteworthy politicians, all while providing an intimate portrait of herself.
7The Princess Diarist
Her third memoir, THE PRINCESS DIARIST, published shortly before she died, serves as one of the final pieces of Carrie’s legacy. Carrie consulted the journals she kept during the filming of “Star Wars” to tell the behind-the-scenes story of the beloved franchise from the point of view of a woman looking back at her naïve and vulnerable teenage self.
While Debbie Reynolds’ first memoir, DEBBIE: MY LIFE, may now be difficult to find, fans can still relive the life of the beloved Hollywood icon through her second definitive memoir, UNSINKABLE. In this story of heartbreak, hope, and survival, Debbie shares the highs and lows of her life as an actress during Hollywood’s Golden Age, including intimate details of her marriages and family life.
9Make ‘Em Laugh
On December 28, 2016, one day after her daughter’s death, Debbie Reynolds passed away following a stroke. Now, this memoir stands as a lasting record of her fascinating life through anecdotes, stories, jokes, and random musings from a woman who lived and died in the spotlight. A star-studded memoir, filled with stories about stars ranging from Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra, and Bette Davis to many more, MAKE ’EM LAUGH is a noteworthy piece of Hollywood history.