Years ago (er...TWELVE), I bought Carrie Fisher's book Surrender The Pink at an airport before I got on a transatlantic flight. (A clue: If a book is still in airport bookstores five yearsafter it's published, it's a hit.) I mostly bought it because it looked like trashy fiction, and I was traveling with William Gaddis' The Recognitions, which I still have not read. (Honestly, my back STILL hurts from toting that thing around everywhere and pretending to read it.) It's not a trashy novel, but I confess that I thought an actress who writes a novel ought to be treated with the same contempt as a model who tries acting. (Feel free to extend this metaphor to radio producers — I know I'm a little snot.)
I did, however, read Surrender the Pink. Three times. And subsequent to the flight — a hundred times. It's the real thing — the writing's too good to fall into celebrity book genres. It's sort of like listening to your best, funniest, girlfriend tell a good, long story with at least three-dozen devastating one liners. The tale of Dinah, a soap opera writer, and her on-again off-again boyfriend/hubby Rudy Gendler, would be appealing to anyone who's interested in the following things: New York, humor, Los Angeles, soap opera behind-the-scenes, men, women, dating, awkward moments. It's truly a Sex and the City type of experience. When I read it in 1996, I was awed by its sophistication, and now, years later, I read it with a rueful chuckle (I've dated the Rudy Gendlers of the world, sadly). I've repeatedly stolen lines from it.
Hilariously, I had no idea the book was about Fisher's marriage to Paul Simon until recently. It does however, have the ring of truth to it — like all of Carrie Fisher's work (except perhaps the Star Wars trilogy). Give it a whirl — you'll read it in one sitting. This recommendation is your holiday gift, NPR-ites!