What exactly was happening in my world in a ‘long-ago age’ almost forty years ago?
I expect, a little like Carrie Fisher’s Princess Diarist-A sort of memoir, I can’t really remember exactly how it was all panning out; any journals have long since disappeared and, given that we have just sold my Mother’s house, in my story there are no hidden treasures or long lost memories to discover hidden away in the bedroom (or most likely, in my own case, in the coal bunker in the garage); this was where my Mother deposited most of my old books, letters and diaries when I left home for good in the mid-1980s. I remember I used to write home every week when I was at university and how I wish I could now read those letters again for one last time, just to see what the 19 year old me was really like! What was I doing? Even some mundane details about the 1980s would be nice. And maybe, somewhere along the line, I would get a glimpse of the younger me. A better me? Perhaps. A happier me? For sure! There is a small section in The Princess Diarist where we get to read Fisher’s poems and diary extracts with all her insecurities laid bare. Fisher wonders, at times, about the embarrassment of sharing her journals with the public, particularly if they are being read posthumously!
Back in 1976, as she spends three months in London making Star Wars she has no inkling that her life is about to change forever. In fact, towards the end of the book, she asks what life might have been like for her had she not taken the role of Princess Leia. Fisher makes it clear she would never have talked to robots, never been objectified wearing a gold bikini sitting on a laughing cruel slug, and she would never have been asked the question, “Who do you think you would have turned out to be if you weren’t an intergalactic princess?” She says, “I’d be me. You know, Carrie. Just me”
Of course, the book gained a great deal of publicity as soon as it was published, a number of months before her untimely death on 27th December 2016, because it largely focuses on her secret affair with her then married co-star Harrison Ford. She would have sex with him at weekends and barely speak with him on the set. Throughout the affair Ford makes her feel insecure. Two lonely souls on location is how Fisher makes sense of the liaison.
“If Harrison was unable to see that I had feelings for him (at least five, but sometimes as many as seven) then he wasn’t as smart as I thought he was – as I knew he was. So I loved him and he allowed it. That’s as close a reckoning as I can muster four decades later. I am frequently still awkward in his presence, still struggling with what I am going to say.”
It took me two days to read the book which says everything really… but only in a positive way and I have since gone on to order two more books by this remarkable woman. So I can certainly recommend this book to anyone wanting a glimpse into the long lost world of Carrie Fisher aka Princess Leia!