"Riveting...mesmerizing...expertly probed."Leigh Haber, O: The Oprah Magazine
"Addictively readable.. Weller embraces her multifaceted subject and illuminates Fisher's life with the same sensitivity and attention to detail she displayed in her previous books" Hannah Brown, The Jerusalem Post
"Sympathetic and terrifically moving" Carrie Rickey, The Forward
"Compassionate, engaging...[the book is] as sharp [and] endearing as its subject:"Douglass K. Daniel, The Associated Press
"This in-depth, insightful, and profoundly sympathetic biography is built around the premise that Carrie Fisher was simply 'famous just for being herself' . . .This is a worthy tribute to a strong, intelligent woman, and readers will appreciate Weller's honest portrayal and thoughtful analysis." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Bestselling author Weller shares a heartfelt tribute to the late Carrie Fishera complex portrait of the actress, her struggles and her extraordinary singularity. A Life on Edge is a fitting and beautiful homage to Fisher." Juliana Rose Pignataro, Newsweek
"A thoughtful and fast-paced biography . . . [Sheila Weller] is exactly the right showbiz insider-outsider to shepherd Carrie Fisher's story to the masses . . . [Weller] does an excellent job of placing Fisher's life in context, showing that while she may have shifted the culture . . . the culture also shifted her." Rachel Syme, Bookforum
"Drawing from exhaustive research and interviews, Weller closely analyzes all of [the] interrelated facets of Fisher's story, from her countless accomplishments and vast social network to the disturbing side of her disorders. What emerges is a vivid and honest portrait of a brave, complex woman who had an impact on all who knew her. Extensive notes and a thoughtful introduction complement the absorbing narrative . . . Well written and poignant, this is a must for Fisher's fans." Library Journal
"Engrossing, gracefully written . . . Carrie Fisher reads as definitive." Celia Wren, The Washington Post
"Fisher lived a lot, and that is felt in page after page. But like Fisher’s life itself, A Life on the Edge runs deep. It is less a long book than a very full one. It’s moving, truthful and a fitting tribute to its subject and to her unflappable courage and transparency. Reading Weller’s portrait of Fisher, you will miss her, deeply." Anna Spydell, Bookpage
"A robust, many-faceted portrait of a woman whose longstanding feminism . . . elevated everything she touched and who left a powerful legacy . . . This satisfying biography of Carrie Fisher, the late actress, writer, wit and mental-health advocate, brings to the fore two additional defining attributes: feminist and friend." Nell Beram, Shelf Awareness
“Sheila Weller has always treated the brilliant, complicated women she writes about with the seriousness, curiosity, and care they deserve. I am so grateful that she has turned her lens on Carrie Fisher, a performer and writer who has meant so much, to so many people, for so many varied reasons. Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge considers Fisher in full, with attention to the love, pain, illness, advocacy, humor, generosity, and contradiction that made her so remarkable. I am so sad that Carrie Fisher is dead. I am so glad that Sheila Weller has given the story of her life the space and attention it deserves.” Rebecca Traister, author of Good and Mad
“This book is so good. By the end, I felt like I had lost a friend. Such is its power and the power of Carrie Fisher: Hollywood royalty, intergalactic princess, honest and sassy and smart and straight talking with a vulnerability that breaks your heart. I hope the whole world reads Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge, and that everyone follows Carrie Fisher’s leaddon’t bullshit, tell the truth no matter how painful, and ‘love so big, it should have a capital and its own currency.’” Ann Hood, author of The Book that Matters Most
“Carrie Fisher: A Life On The Edge is a remarkable, moving portrait of a woman seemingly winning the race of life. I was moved to tears at many points as I read Carrie’s story in Sheila’s booktender and honest, with clarity about the hard gritty facts, and the tale of beauty and intelligence bound with bipolar disorder, sorrow and addiction. At the same time, my heart was lifted by Carrie’s hope against fate. In her book Girls Like Us, Sheila Weller painted intriguing, exciting, telling and provocative portraits of women who are icons: Carole King, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell. Weller’s new book on Carrie Fisher is the graduate course.” Judy Collins, Grammy–nominated singer-songwriter and author of Sweet Judy Blue Eyes
“This is the Carrie Fisher story as it had to be toldwith clarity and verve. Sheila Weller has created a brilliant kaleidoscopic portrait of a true original, smack in the center of our celebrity culture: a brassy, vulnerable lady with a searching intelligence rapier wit and a capacity for deep deep friendships. Sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, Weller charts Fisher's evolution with perception, balance, and a keen understanding of Fisher's tragic complexities. Importantly, Weller shows how Fisher kept challenging her dark experiences: she learned. She changed. She sometimes even found joy. Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge is a page-turner. I was emotionally hooked from start to finish.” Patricia Bosworth, author of Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman
“Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge grabs you with its winning combination of unflinching honesty and graceful empathy. Sheila Weller, drawing on her deep understanding of the beauty and trauma of Hollywood, has written a stunning biography of Carrie Fisher.”
David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama
“Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge is a can’t-put-it-down, fascinating, deeply compassionate biography of the one and only, indomitable Carrie Fisher. Weller gets at the heart of the feisty, smart, and sometimes conflicted Fisher, who fought the siren song of addiction and unthinkable tragedies in her life, while still being the incredibly loving, supportive friend everyone dreams of, a blazingly original talent, and an absolutely beloved star. Weller’s book is special, essential, and wildly entertaining. It will move you to tears . . . and to laughter.” Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Cruel Beautiful World
“A lively and informative account of the improbable life and times of Carrie Fisher. Fisher was a survivor of a movieland happily-ever-after that went gaudily off the rails (her family became an international scandal when her father, Eddie Fisher, left her mother, Debbie Reynolds, for Elizabeth Taylor), and of one of the most successful franchises in film history (Star Wars, of course), not to mention a hairdo that would’ve sunk almost anybody else (think sci-fi George Eliot). But she was so much more than that: a curiosity, a sensation, a writer, a wreck, a wit, a flirt, an addict, a sage, a marvel, and, finally, a legend. She was, too, Hollywood’s sharpest critic as well as its moral conscience and best friend. Weller’s book captures the spirt of this complicated and contradictory figure. Wonderful fun.” Lili Anolik, author of Hollywood's Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A.
“Sheila Weller’s lively and insightful biography of actor and writer Carrie Fisher brings a fresh perspective to a life we thought we knew.” Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World
“No one gets under the skin of a subject like Sheila Weller. She inhabits Carrie Fisher from somewhere deep inside, providing a tragic, albeit deeply moving portrait of a brilliant and brilliantly flawed Hollywood rebel. Carrie Fisher isn’t a postcard from the edge, it’s a dispatch from backstageand beyond.” Bob Spitz, bestselling author of Reagan: An American Journey and The Beatles: The Biography
Carrie Fisher (1956–2016) was forever identified with her heroic role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, but her career encompassed much more—appearances on television and in numerous films, recognition as a best-selling author, and advocacy for mental health awareness. Behind the public image, however, was an often troubled personal one, and here Weller (Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon-and the Journey of a Generation) presents an in-depth look at this talented and charismatic individual who also grappled with drug addiction and bipolar disorder. Fisher's world was filled with an extensive cast of celebrities—friends, romantic partners (singer Paul Simon, agent Bryan Lourd), and famed parents actors Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher—many of whom complicated her already unsettled life. Drawing from exhaustive research and interviews, Weller closely analyzes all of these interrelated facets of Fisher's story, from her countless accomplishments and vast social network to the disturbing side of her disorders. What emerges is a vivid and honest portrait of a brave, complex woman who had an impact on all who knew her. Extensive notes and a thoughtful introduction complement the absorbing narrative. VERDICT Well written and poignant, this is a must for Fisher's fans. [See Prepub Alert, 5/5/19.]—Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ
An intimate and effusive tribute to Carrie Fisher (1956-2016).
Between traditional biography and commemorative journalism lies a place where facts meet fandom, where both casual observers and devotees alike can bear witness to an extraordinary life. Weller (The News Sorority: Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour—and the (Ongoing, Imperfect, Complicated) Triumph of Women in TV News, 2014, etc.) could find those coordinates in her sleep. That's not to say she didn't work incredibly hard to pull together this endearing collection of stories about the late actor. The author is a seasoned veteran of panoramic storytelling; as a result, her narrative is occasionally almost as difficult to keep up with as Fisher herself. The book begins and ends with the fateful trans-Atlantic flight that signaled her impending death, but in between, readers have more than 300 pages to fall in love with the quirky, brilliant, outrageously witty woman who graced the silver screen as Princess Leia, among other roles. Weller interviewed scores of Fisher's friends, former lovers, colleagues, and family members to shape a mostly chronological, highly detailed rendering of her life. The author dives deep into her subject's childhood, films, books, marriages, friendships, and highly publicized battles with addiction and mental illness. The latter two elements provide some of the most poignant moments of the book, as readers get a revealing look at Fisher's eventual acceptance of—and fierce honesty about—living with drug addiction and bipolar disorder. Occasionally, the dizzying array of quotes and voluminous backstories of Fisher's friends and family get a bit taxing, and the book is brimming with gossipy tidbits. Regardless, Weller connects the dots in ways that create a vividly hued portrait. There is no monochrome here but rather an expansive look at a woman who lived large, loved deeply, and did a lot to destigmatize mental illness.
Whether you were well-acquainted with Fisher or not, this book will make you miss her.