Review of The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher

Posted: December 28, 2016 in memoir, Review


The cover for The Princess Diarist states that it is a “sort of memoir”, this is because the book deals with Carrie Fisher’s show business life before the unexpected mega-hit film Star Wars, her diaries from the period she was on location filming that film, and how Star Wars affected her life afterwards. In a way this is a themed autobiography written by the same author but with one part written forty years ago.

The memoir drops a few surprises: Carrie, due to firsthand observations of an actor’s working life, did not intend to enter show business let alone become an actress. The working life was too precarious and fame, while long lingering, didn’t bring financial reward. Both her father and mother were object lessons in those regards. But somehow an acting career happened. Another surprise was that Star Wars was a low budget movie. None of those involved expected the film to be a hit – making a profit (as with any studio film) was all that was expected. The film was made in the United Kingdom because that was cheaper than shooting it in Hollywood.

Then there was the affair or prolonged one-night stand as Ms Fisher sometimes calls it. Ms Fisher writes about it in retrospect; and the diaries cover her emotional experience of it at the time. The diaries cover the experience of a very outgoing extrovert nineteen year old unexpectedly having feelings for a very taciturn introvert of thirty three. Not a life affirming experience if the diaries are anything to go by. And yet Ms Fisher stills likes Mr Ford – this is not a cruel book.

Carrie Fisher has an easy, engaging style and finds herself an endless source of amusement. The parts before and after the diaries are told with a gentle wit and these parts are a stunning stylistic contrast to the diaries. This memoir is a must read for any fan of the Star Wars film(s) and sheds a valuable light on the person played the character and the character Princess Leia. Put it on your to buy list right now.


Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Simon


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