Carrie Fisher has written a few memoirs already, but The Princess Diarist reflects on her time working on Star Wars, with an emphasis on her secret affair with a married Harrison Ford. The book includes 68 pages from the diary she kept during that time, which are filled with angst and poems. Oh, to be 19 again.
-excerpt from her 1976 diary
Some may find it obnoxious to bring up this story at this point in life. She’s kept it a secret for forty years – why not continue keeping it a secret? I think it’s smart, though. As she says, if she didn’t write about it, someone else would once she’s dead, and then she’d never get to tell her side. I, personally, prefer autobiographical tell-alls to biographies written by other authors because I like hearing people tell their own stories.
“Whoever I might’ve infuriated then wouldn’t have the energy to be infuriated now. And even if they did, I wouldn’t have the energy to feel as guilty…”
-Carrie Fisher on why she finally decided to open up about her affair with her married costar during filming in 1976
I would have liked to have heard about how she felt while filming the earlier scenes in When Harry Met Sally, where her character, Marie, is in a long-term relationship with a married man. Based on the things she said in The Princess Diarist, she sure can relate to the character. Though it’s not Star Wars adjacent, it would be a new topic for her to open up about, since we’re just learning about Carrison.
The writing style of The Princess Diarist is often long-winded, and I found myself rereading paragraphs every now and then. (Rambling is basically the only way I know how to write, so who am I to judge, anyway?) The latter part of the book talks about the ‘celebrity lap dance’ that is signing autographs for money, which includes page long quotes of examples of what a fan might say to her. Needless to say, it gets tiring, which I’m sure is what she wanted to convey.
Overall, I enjoyed it. Using actual excerpts from her actual diary from that time was a nice touch, because forty years later, things tend to look a little different. This way, we had the opportunity to peek in the mind of where she was at that time. We saw the real angst and insecurities, and the negative emotional aspects of being casually involved with a much older man. You’re always waiting for his cues, confused on where things stand, avoiding the elephant in the room that is your affair.
Whether you’re 19, 49, or 99, we love you Carrie. Check out The Princess Diarist and her other memoirs, Shockaholic and Wishful Drinking.