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Thursday, December 29, 2016

On Carrie, Debbie, and Books

Debbie Reynolds broke into acting in the early 1950s and headlined in classics like Singin' in the Rain and The Unsinkable Molly Brown. (Did you know that her movie Tammy and the Bachelor was based on the book Tammy Out of Time by Mississippi author Cid Ricketts Sumner?) She gave birth to her daughter Carrie Fisher on October 21, 1956.

Carrie Fisher came into my life when I was two. My parents took me to the drive-in theater, where we saw Star Wars on the big screen. I, of course, have no recollection of this momentous event, but I grew up with the films and their characters. I never minded being Princess Leia on the playground. (Daisy Duke, not so much.) She was courageous, beautiful, and she suffered no fools. Really, what little girl wouldn't want to emulate her?

Like many, I was saddened to hear of Fisher's death on December 27 and her mother Reynolds's death the next day. Their close familial ties say much of their mother-daughter bond. Also, both ladies were possessed of such grace and style... and love of the literary! Reynolds wrote three memoirs about her life, most recently 2015's Make 'Em Laugh. Fisher, too, wrote three memoirs, as well as several novels and screenplays. Her latest, The Princess Diarist, came out last month.

If you, too, are mourning Reynolds and Fisher, why not check out one of their books or try one of these that explore the love between mothers and their daughters?

  • Little Women
    Louisa May Alcott
  • Are You My Mother?
    Alison Bechdel
  • Blue Nights
    Joan Didion
  • Where We Belong
    Emily Giffin
  • Winter Garden
    Kristin Hannah
  • The Book that Matters Most
    Ann Hood
  • Then Again
    Diane Keaton
  • The Secret Life of Bees
    Sue Monk Kidd
  • Annie John
    Jamaica Kincaid
  • I Am My Mother's Daughter
    Iris Krasnow
  • The Winter People
    Jennifer McMahon
  • Beloved
    Toni Morrison
  • Everything I Never Told You
    Celeste Ng
  • Eat Cake
    Jeanne Ray
  • Undivided
    Patricia and Alana Raybon
  • Please Look After Mom
    Kyung-Sook Shin
  • The Rules of Inheritance
    Claire Bidwell Smith
  • My Name is Lucy Barton
    Elizabeth Strout
  • The Joy Luck Club
    Amy Tan
  • Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
    Rebecca Wells
Until next time, happy reading!

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