Stikkordarkiv: memoir

The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher

After reading Wishful Drinking towards the end of last year I was eager to read more of Carrie Fisher, and therefore I picked up The Princess Diarist in London. I got a little stuck half-way through, but I don’t think that was Fisher’s fault, as I didn’t really read anything else either.

The book oversells itself a bit on the «behind the scenes on the Star Wars set» plot (if one can call it plot in a memoir?), as there is actually very little about the actual filming. Fisher does describe how the auditions happened, which is fascinating, but the main theme of the book is «Carrison», the affair between Fisher and her co-star Harrison Ford.

I’m not a Star Wars fan (I haven’t even seen all of the original three, though I keep meaning to), but even so I was a bit disappointed in this, partly because other people’s love-affairs (real, not fictional) don’t really interest me much. What does create interest, though, is the contrast between the young Fisher – the diarist – and the old Fisher. The former is just entering adulthood and is unsure about pretty much everything, quite far removed from the who-gives-a-fuck Fisher that has been catching my interest lately.

On the whole, though, the parts that deal directly with the events during filming are the least interesting parts of the book. Fisher’s musings on fame and fictional self are much more readworthy.

I had never been Princess Leia before and now I would be her forever. I would never not be Princess Leia. I had no idea how profoundly true that was and how long forever was.

Everything delivered in the style I recognise from Wishful Drinking, a slightly haphazard, very oral style, like you’ve sat down with Fisher one evening and she decides to tell you her story there and then. It creates intimacy, which I find charming, but also somewhat ironic, as one of the problems of being Princess Leia is that everybody feel like they already know you (and have a right to your time and attention) and now Fisher is creating a new connection to her readers/fans which has much of the same quality. However, I suppose that it might be a good thing, as this new connection is something she is in control of the contents of, as opposed to Leia, which was never first and foremost her creation.

Carrie Fisher is worth reading must be my conclusion, though I would definitely recommend Wishful Drinking over The Princess Diarist.

PS: Siden det ble dårlig med lesing av det andre jeg skulle ha lest i februar (og mars, forsåvidt), inkludert Anorektisk og andre kandidater, får jeg hevde at The Princess Diarist er mitt bidrag i biografilesesirkelen. At Fisher passer beskrivelsen «oppdragne piker» er det vel liten tvil om. At jeg er vel sent ute er ikke noe nytt (og det blir neppe siste gang).

The Best We Could Do – Thi Bui

Siden jeg har bestemt meg for å heller skrive korte omtaler enn å utsette blogginga til jeg har glemt boka blir det kjapp omtale av Thi Buis The Best We Could Do, for biblioteket vil ha den tilbake (helst forrige uke). Den fikk rykke litt opp på leselisten siden biblioteket maste, og det er mulig det er en medvirkende årsak til at jeg er litt underveldet (det var kanskje ikke akkurat dette jeg var klar for å lese nå). Eller er det det at jeg hadde høye forventninger på grunn av omtaler andre steder? Det var tross alt overstrømmende entusiasme fra tidligere lesere som fikk meg til å reservere boka på biblioteket.

The Best We Could Do er biografi i tegneserieform. Thi Bui utforsker sin families historie, hva som drev foreldrene til å flykte fra Vietnam til USA med fire barn. Et gjennomgående tema er hennes eget forhold til foreldrene og hvordan det påvirker hennes rolle som mor.

Kanskje det beste med boka fra mitt synspunkt er alt jeg lærer om Vietnam. Som de fleste andre i vesten har jeg først og fremst hørt amerikanerenes versjon av historien (hadde jeg vært frankofil hadde jeg kanskje hatt franskmennenes versjon inne også, men det er jeg ikke). Å få et annet perspektiv på konflikten(e) er nyttig, ikke minst som en påminnelse om at det alltid er flere sider i en sak enn man tror.

Ellers får historien i boka litt for tungt fokus på fødsler og mors-/farsrolle for min del, det svarer ikke helt til forventningene (uten at det nødvendigvis er Buis feil), og interesserte meg bare sånn måtelig. Jeg synes rett og slett noen av de passasjene ble repetitive og opplevdes litt meningsløse.

Det grafiske uttrykket er gjennomgående flott og ekspressivt, men jeg ble litt sliten av den monokrome fargesettingen. Siden jeg uten problemer leser grafiske romaner i svart-hvitt vanligvis kan vi kanskje skylde på sliten-i-hodet-pga-cellegift for akkurat det, men jeg kunne i alle fall ønsket meg noe annet enn bruntoner i i alle fall noen av scenene (faktisk tror jeg at svart-hvitt hadde fungert bedre for meg).

En noe tilbakeholden anbefaling, derfor, men likevel, du kan finne dummere måter å bruke en time eller to på enn å lese The Best We Could Do.

The Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls

walls_theglasscastleThe Glass Castle was the April pick for my book club, so it’s been a while since I finished it, but I didn’t want to leave it completely unmentioned here on the blog, despite not having felt the blogging groove lately.

I found Walls’ story utterly fascinating. She describes a highly dysfunctional family, but does it in such loving terms (even when she’s obviously angry and frustrated, she never sounds bitter). Perhaps it’s easier to forgive incompetent parents when they despite everything they don’t provide, at least provide you with plenty of spunk, a curiosity about the world and belief in yourself?

Suffice it to say that I’ll be seeking out Walls’ other books.

Without Reservations – Alice Steinbach

I enjoyed Without Reservations, though I think the title is a bit misguiding – Steinbach actually makes plenty of reservations in advance in the «books a place to stay» sense, so the pun doesn’t really work. However, she is pleasant company, and it’s quite refreshing to read travelogues by women, even in this day and age women seem to be less apt to travel on their own than men.

(bookcrossing journal for my copy)