News & Notes – 12/31/16

December 31, 2016 News & Notes 2

News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff.


In Memoriam: Carrie Fisher


Carrie Fisher, who was best known for her iconic portrayal of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, died Dec. 27 after suffering a heart attack. She was 60 years old. Fisher was the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and singer/actor Debbie Reynolds (Singin’ in the Rain.) In addition to her work as an actress, Carrie Fisher also wrote several novels and memoirs, including Postcards from the Edge and 2016’s The Princess DiaristPostcards from the Edge, a semi-autobiographical novel, drew on her personal struggles with bipolar disorder and drug addiction; it was later made into a movie starring Meryl Streep. The Princess Diarist, published last month, is a memoir about the Star Wars years. Fisher was flying home following a book tour in London when she experienced a heart attack. She died a few days later. Her mother, Debbie Reynolds, suffered a stroke and died a day after her daughter.

Obituaries: BBCLA TimesNew York Times.  NPR’s Fresh Air also rebroadcast three interviews with Fisher, from 1990, 2004, and 2016. And writer John Scalzi pays glowing tribute to Fisher’s writing in a piece for the LA Times — from which I learned that Fisher also worked as a “script doctor” for some of the biggest films of the ’90s.



Carrie Fisher as General Organa (Princess Leia) in The Force Awakens.

Literary Losses

Richard Adams, familiar to millions of readers as the author of Watership Down, died Dec. 24, 2016, at the age of 96. His novel about a colony of rabbits escaping from a doomed warren began as a story told to his children on their drive to school. The novel was first published by a one-man publishing firm in 1972. It was quickly snapped up by Penguin, which marketed it to both children and adults, and became a runaway bestseller. Shardik, the story of a great bear, was his next book, followed by The Girl in a Swing and Plague Dogs, but none ever quite matched the success nor the public acclaim of Watership Down.  

Obituaries and tributes: BBC The Guardian (obituary); LitStack;  LA TimesPhilip Ardagh’s tribute.   The Guardian also interviewed Adams about 2 years ago.


Book News & Announcements


Worth Reading


Awesome Lists


Bookish Quote

All is lost.


That’s it for this week!


2 Responses to “News & Notes – 12/31/16”

  1. Stephanie

    This posted started with sadness (I was more affected by Carrie Fisher’s loss than I thought I would be – I think she and George Michaels’ deaths may have been the two saddest for me as they were both a pretty big part of my childhood)but ended making me smile since the answer to your “quote” is definitely All is Lost. Interesting article about book trends and how 2017 could use a blockbuster – I’m interested to know what the will catch on next.
    Stephanie recently posted…The TV Crushes of 2017My Profile