There is good news and bad news. The good news (I think) is that Carrie Fisher has finally written a book about her affair with Harrison Ford. The bad news is that Fisher has written a book. The Princess Diarist reads like a terrible creative writing experiment, complete with poems and appalling puns (“metaphor be with you!”).
Puzzlingly, it also reveals almost nothing about the affair, which we are told happened on the set of the first Star Wars film in 1976.
Fisher is a tiresome contrarian (and an exhausting read) who initially tries to downplay the fact that she did something as trashy as bonking a co-star. It was at once “a very long one-night stand”, she drawls on page 182. She was “relieved” when it ended. Ford was “boring” and “monosyllabic”, married with two children.
But she was also passionately in love with him, wanted to marry him, didn’t want to live when he left. “I loved him and he allowed it,” she wails. So which was it?
I can’t imagine to what financial depths Fisher must have sunk in order to write this book, an obvious puff for the new Star Wars films, in which she and Ford return. There is a clue towards the end, where a whole 30 pages are devoted to the miserable experience of signing photographs for cash at nerd conventions.
Fisher was 19 when she was asked to try for the role of Princess Leia. She somehow manages to give a dull description of her audition, saying how many times she has told the story.
Anyway, she landed the role and thought so little of it that she “blithely” signed away the rights to her image.
She is now 60 and barely earns a “quarter of a point” on royalties, despite Star Wars being one of the biggest franchises. She gets some money from signing autographs in warehouses (hers is worth $US70, or $95) and from digging up her teenage diaries, written at the time of the first film, from under the floorboards.
She has reprinted huge tracts of these diaries here, but again they reveal little. There is no direct mention of an affair. Ford is referred to by name only twice. The rest is slushy, subEL James flaffle that even as a teenager she knew was bad. She would be “posthumously embarrassed” if anyone read them, she wrote.
Fast forward 40 years and she is now mysteriously getting over her earlier good sense and foisting these terrible volumes upon us. She is The Princess Diarist: A Sort of Memoir ... By Carrie Fisher Bantam Press, 272pp, $34.99 also suddenly remembering her rumoured but as yet untold “affair”.
Is it mean of me to say how convenient? I don’t think she has totally made it up, but it wouldn’t be the first celebrity memoir to be pitched off the back of ridiculous set gossip.
It doesn’t help that she can’t recall much of it, blaming her “memory loss” on dope (Ford apparently liked weed of a “brutal strength”) and a sniffy sense of propriety (she draws a lavenderscented veil over details of their sex life — so irritating). “I can barely recall our time together during the first weekend,” she whinnies. Could she bear to try harder? much-