Delusions of Grandma Critical Essays

Carrie Fisher

Delusions of Grandma

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

With numerous metaphors and great wit, DELUSIONS OF GRANDMA explores the inner turmoil of Hollywood screenwriter Cora Sharpe as she attempts to have a “normal” relationship with sensitive and supportive attorney Ray. Their relationship ends with a whimper when she proves unable to make him the focal point of her life, an honor which she is forced to bestow on their unborn child when she discovers she is pregnant.

Even though her romance with Ray could not sustain the daily insecurities of living together or of shepherding Cora’s dear friend William through his final months with AIDS—which served to heighten Cora and Ray’s sense of living every moment as well as improve their sex life—Cora realizes there is no need to throw out the baby with the bathwater. With hopes she will make a better mother than wife or lover, she adjusts to motherhood with great angst while her body adjusts more easily to its new job of growing a baby.

Cora is surprised, however, to learn more than she had ever expected about maternity and maturity from her own mother Viv, an eccentric costume designer who plans to create an amusement park around costumes from famous films at a Las Vegas hotel. Viv’s current mission, however, is to return her father Bill—who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease—to his boyhood home. Viv enlists Cora and her writing partner/best friend Bud, to go along for the cross-country train ride.

Through this journey of the heart, Fisher draws Cora as a witty Everywoman who learns that love is a gradual and unexpected happening over which one truly has no real control. Fisher’s penchant for metaphors keeps the reader engaged as Cora gives up her need to control everything—and everyone—in her life as she prepares to share it with baby Lily.

Sources for Further Study

Boston Globe. April 3, 1994, p. 30.

Chicago Tribune. April 10, 1994, XIV, p. 5.

The Christian Science Monitor. May 9, 1994, p. 13.

Library Journal. CXIX, March 1, 1994, p. 117.

Los Angeles. XXXIX, April, 1994, p. 68.

New Woman. XXIV, May, 1994, p. 28.

The New York Times Book Review. XCIX, March 27, 1994, p. 15.

Publishers Weekly. CCXLI, February 21, 1994, p. 232.

The Times Literary Supplement. July 1, 1994, p. 22.

The Washington Post Book World. XXIV, May 1, 1994, p. 2.