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Phone Call From the Edge: Carrie Fisher Dishes her Friends, her New Novel, and, Most of All, Herself

NEW YORK -- "Hello," a groggy voice moans across the telephone line from the other coast. "Sorry, I'm a little bit out of it. My daughter got sick, so of course I got it. It's just a bronchial thing, but it's a drag. I feel like I'm under...

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NEW YORK -- "Hello," a groggy voice moans across the telephone line from the other coast. "Sorry, I'm a little bit out of it. My daughter got sick, so of course I got it. It's just a bronchial thing, but it's a drag. I feel like I'm under water."

It's not what one would expect from Carrie Fisher, ultimate gabber and Hollywood insider, famous for giving good chat, bon mots, high wit and deep dish.

The fastest -- and sharpest -- pen in the West, whose third novel, "Delusions of Grandma," is getting nearly as much press as Whitewater, is feeling a little slow today. And not so witty.

"You know," Fisher ponders huskily, "everyone thinks I'm so witty, but I don't think I'm a real wit. Robin Williams can do that -- and must do it. It has to be critical to do it. It's not essential to me. I'll talk -- forever -- that's critical -- but not being witty, that's not essential for me. Actually, what I am is eccentric. Which is hard in Hollywood, but since I've always been that, people expect it. I know I scare people a little bit. They don't know if I'm weird, or loaded. Really, it's just that I'm so self-involved."

Lately, Hollywood's High Priestess of Pop Psych has become a little disillusioned with the town she's got wired, what with all her famous friends, her acting career, and her lineage. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think I want to move. I don't love it here anymore. I like the product of it, I like to be entertained, but the phony thing has gotten unpleasant. And then you see it mixed in with pleasant things and that's even more disturbing. People say the stereotypes of this place can't be exactly true. But they are! I think these days everyone in this town is on medication.

"You know," she adds, "by birthright I'm eccentric. My only role models were people who knew how to get attention. I have a really manic energy, so I talk it out. I take party hostages or evenings hostage, and one of the ways of getting the attention you need is to learn how to talk to entertain.
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