Carrie Fisher’s books saw a noticeable uptick in sales after her tragic death on December 27, 2016. The Star Wars actress was a prolific author of both fiction and nonfiction, as well as a renowned Hollywood script doctor. Now, Fisher’s publishers are rushing to reprint all of Fisher’s novels after demand for her books outsold their available supply.
Simon & Schuster told Entertainment Weekly that they were reprinting tens of thousands of copies of Fisher’s books, which have already sold approximately 500,000 copies in her career. Blue Rider Press, publisher of Fisher’s last book The Princess Diarist, is also reprinting in anticipation of the uptick in demand, according to the New York Times.
The trend started on Amazon, as Entertainment Weekly also reported, with Fisher’s latest book, The Princess Diarist, a memoir collection released earlier this year, rocketing to number one on Amazon’s best-seller list within hours of the actress’s death. The memoirs detail Fisher’s time on the set of Star Wars and include the shocking revelation that Fisher and Star Wars co-star Harrison Ford had an affair while working on the film that would eventually gain the subtitle A New Hope.
That same day, two of Fisher’s other books—her 1987 debut novel Postcards From the Edge and her other memoir collection Wishful Drinking—also found spots in Amazon’s top ten best-sellers list.
Both books have been immortalized on-screen: Fisher herself wrote the adapted screenplay for Postcards From the Edge, which was directed by Mike Nichols and starred Meryl Streep; Wishful Drinking, meanwhile, was based on her one-woman show of the same name—it eventually became an HBO special.
USA Today is also reporting an increase in sales for some of Fisher’s books. The news outlet previewed their sales list (which will be released tomorrow) by stating that The Princess Diarist is at number three this week, while Wishful Drinking is at number 14.
Carrie Fisher’s death brought forth an outpouring of emotions from all corners of the world, and not just for her role as Princess Leia. The actress’s struggles with bipolar disorder and living in the shadow of her famous mother (Singin‘ in the Rain actress Debbie Reynolds, who died one day after her daughter) were on constant display in her writing, shining a light on the stigmas of mental illness and the downsides of infamy.
The Guardian ran a powerful op-ed after Fisher’s death that highlighted her ability to be blunt and direct about her bipolar disorder. It also spoke on Carrie Fisher as a pop culture icon beyond the metal bikini the actress famously wore during the third Star Wars film Return of the Jedi.
The Guardian had given Fisher an advice column, too, and one of its last published pieces sees Fisher responding kindly to a young person who has just been diagnosed with bipolar themselves.
“We have been given a challenging illness, and there is no other option than to meet those challenges,” she said.
The conclusion of that piece is an excellent example of how Carrie supported and challenged others to keep moving forward.
You don’t have to like doing a lot of what you do, you just have to do it. You can let it all fall down and feel defeated and hopeless and that you’re done. But you reached out to me – that took courage. Now build on that. Move through those feelings and meet me on the other side. As your bipolar sister, I’ll be watching. Now get out there and show me and you what you can do.
Sci-fi novelist John Scalzi also wrote an elegant tribute to Carrie’s book work for the Los Angeles Times. In addition to highlighting her novels, Scalzi draws attention to her work as a script doctor, pointing to a widely-shared tweet by cinema documentarian Will McCrabb that shows a script page from The Empire Strikes Back, marked up with changes in Fisher’s handwriting.
Carrie Fisher’s handwritten EMPIRE STRIKES BACK dialogue changes.
What an amazingly multitalented woman. pic.twitter.com/3R4PiyOvF1
— WILL McCRABB (@mccrabb_will) December 24, 2016
Fisher stopped working as a script doctor in 2008, but her work in that field, including but not limited to Sister Act, The Wedding Singer, and the Star Wars prequels, stands as a testament to the actress’s writing ability alongside her books. (Scalzi hand-waves away the Star Wars prequels, which feature some of the most famous examples of terrible dialogue by their principal author George Lucas, by saying “no doctor saves every patient.”)
But anyone wanting to hear Carrie Fisher in her own words should definitely keep an eye out for her books; it seems likely that they will continue to fly off the shelves long after the release of Star Wars Episode VIII.
[Featured Image by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images]