Fisher Kept a Dry Sense of Humor for 'Wishful Drinking'

Fisher's dry humor on display in her memoir about mental illness and addiction.

Dec. 10, 2008— -- Carrie Fisher's wickedly funny memoir, "Wishful Drinking," is "anecdotal, not an autobiography," she says. "My memory isn't good enough for that, not since the electroconvulsive therapy."

In fact, Fisher, 52, can't remember the title of the horror movie she recently filmed in Pittsburgh. (Her assistant knows: a remake of "The House on Sorority Row," out in October.)

Fisher, who at 19 was Princess Leia in the original "Star Wars," says she dies in the horror flick, impaled by a tire iron, which "some people will be glad to hear."

"Wishful Drinking" (Simon & Schuster, $21) grew out of her one-woman play that deals with drug addiction, mental illness and being the product of "Hollywood in-breeding."

Her parents were Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, who left his wife for Elizabeth Taylor when Carrie was 2. Fisher describes her parents as "the Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston of the late '50s, only slightly more so -- because they actually managed to procreate."

Barefoot in her hotel room, Fisher offers an addict's statistics: "Sober for a year and a half — this time. Before that, eight years. Before that, three years. I've had slips that I'm not proud of."

After five autobiographical novels, including "Postcards From the Edge" (Meryl Streep played a Fisher-like daughter in the movie), she turned to non-fiction because "I've gained some wisdom — but not much."

Fisher, who is single now, writes of her marriages to Paul Simon ("I was really good for (song) material, but when it came to day-to-day living, I was more than he could take") and to agent Bryan Lourd, who left her for a man.

Their daughter, Billie, 16, is a "powerful young lady," Fisher says. "She has to be. She survived me."

The book mentions her electroshock therapy, but mostly as a punch line. She says it's not like the scenes from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest": "They put you to sleep, and the electricity is just in your head."

She says it's helped. The downside: "It wiped out four months of memory, but at my age, what's going to happen in four months that won't happen again?"