Carrie Fisher drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra.
But in another world, Carrie Fisher died with cocaine, heroine, and ecstasy in her system. She self-medicated for her mental illness and lost the fight to addiction.
Fisher was a brilliant actress, but she was also a brilliant writer. Her first book, Postcards from the Edge, proves this.
From the very beginning, Postcards is…uncomfortable. It follows Suzanne as she is hospitalized for her addiction and goes into recovery. Once she leaves the hospital, it shows her recovery and attempt to re-assimilate into the real world. Her writing came from a place of pain, from someone who has experienced it before.
The format – part diary, part third person – emphasizes the tone. The diary entries are a place of reflection, a day-to-day log of her time in the hospital with other addicts. It simulates for the reader how she feels she belongs there. When she leaves the hospital and the story is told in third person, it emulates her outsider status. This section also shows how hard recovery can be.
At first, it was hard to get immersed in the story, because of the awkwardness. But after a few chapters, that became the appeal. That, and Suzanne, who is an appealing character it’s easy to relate to, especially if you also suffer a mental illness.
Rest in peace Carrie, and thanks for the story.