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Carrie Fisher has been a director in her teens, an actor in her twenties (The STAR WARS trilogy, HANNAH AND HER SISTERS, etc), a screenwriter and novelist in her thirties (POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE, SURRENDER THE PINK).
This look into screenwriter Cora Sharpe's "big, loud life" begins as she embarks upon a relationship with nice-enough lawyer Ray. The affair wanes until revived by a mutual commitment to care for Cora's dying friend William. William's death from AIDS signals the end of Cora and Ray's affair, but she soon discovers that she is pregnant with Ray's child. Dialog interspersed with letters written to her unborn child provide insight into the complications posed by Cora's impending motherhood. After an inexplicable scheme to kidnap her grandfather from a nursing home, the book concludes with the birth of Cora's child. Fisher's expert reading allows her wit to come through in some great passages, but the plot is disjointed and neither themes nor characters are developed sufficiently. An optional purchase for most libraries.-Linda Bredengerd, Hanley Lib., Univ. of Pittsburgh, Bradford, Pa.
Fisher ( Surrender the Pink ) is up to her usual schtick: analyzing the dynamics of a love affair gone sour. It all works fairly well, as long as the narrator, pregnant Hollywood script rewriter Cora Sharpe, doesn't get carried away with her own clever quips. Mildly concerned that she won't survive labor, Cora is writing to her unborn child. Between these piquant scribblings, the narrative backtracks to events leading up to Cora's pregnancy, including a pivotal phase in the relationship with her ex-boyfriend Ray, the expectant father . When a friend with AIDS moves in with them, Cora's efforts to ease his final days demonstrate to Ray that he is not her top priority. Exit Ray, and enter some wacky and not-so-convincing plot twists focused on Cora's flamboyant mother (``To label her eccentric would be a disservice to the words,'' Cora remarks). Scenarios built around this show-bizzy grandma-to-be, whose ``heartfelt delusions'' give the book its title, lack the conviction of earlier chapters. Still, Fisher's nonstop pithy dialogue and opinionated heroine make this a lively, witty read. (Apr.)