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12th November sees the release of Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge by Sheila Weller, a book which looks back at Carrie’s incredible life, including her infamous parties. Here’s an excerpt from what looks set to be an absolute must-buy book.

With money now from Star Wars, Carrie wanted an outpost in her hometown, so she bought a house next door to her friend Teri Garr’s log cabin in Laurel Canyon. It was a tiny house, and Carrie decorated it felicitously: she put a big statue of a foot on the front lawn and had cutouts of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on the stairs. When she and Paul [Simon] were in L.A., she gave parties there, where a gourmet cook was on the premises, teaching everyone cuisine. The hired chef was “supposed to give us lessons,” Teri Garr recalled, “and we’d all watch him cook and try to learn how, but mostly we’d just drink a lot of wine.”

Eventually, she rented out the Laurel Canyon house and bought a house on Oak Pass in Benedict Canyon. There, for her editor guests, especially the female ones, life at Carrie’s was like a sorority house on Friday night, and it often included the new custom in Carrie’s life, which would make her a social icon for thirty years: her legendary joint October birthday parties with Penny Marshall. A more exclusive, A-list-filled, in-demand party in Hollywood—or anywhere—didn’t exist than the Carrie-Penny parties. Nina Jacobson—now one of Hollywood’s major producers—once said to a journalist that when she and her girlfriend, Jen, first started attending them, “we felt bad for not being famous,” because the guests were, by Nina’s estimation, “85 percent incredibly famous people. We were wondering what we were doing there.”

Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge
  • Sheila Weller
  • Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
  • Hardcover: 416 pages