The New York Times bestselling memoir from legendary comedienne Carol Burnett is a “loving, poignant” (People) tribute to her eldest daughter, Carrie Hamilton.
The daughter of one of television’s most recognizable and beloved stars, Carol Burnett, Carrie Hamilton won the hearts of everyone she met with her kindness, her quirky humor, and her unconventional approach to life. After overcoming her painful and public teenage struggle with drug addiction in a time when personal troubles were kept private, Carrie lived her adult life of sobriety to the fullest, achieving happiness and success as an actress, writer, musician, and director before losing a hard-fought battle with cancer at age thirty-eight. Now Carol Burnett shares her personal diary entries, photographs, and correspondence as she traces the journey she and Carrie took through some of life’s toughest challenges and sweetest miracles. Authentic, intimate, and full of love, Carrie and Me is a funny and moving memoir about mothering an extraordinary young woman through the struggles and triumphs of her life.
Born in 1963, Burnett s eldest daughter, Carrie Hamilton, was an actress and playwright beginning to establish a name for herself when she died of lung cancer at age 38, in January 2002. In this nostalgic look back at Hamilton s short life and last work-in-progress, Burnett (One More Time) portrays a loving daughter who was nonetheless difficult during her adolescent years when she was abusing drugs heavily and spent several stints in rehab, before emerging as a gifted actress who landed a plum role as Maureen in the national tour of Rent. Burnett inserts into her chronological narrative excerpts from her own diary entries, for example during the fraught time when she and her then husband, Joe Hamilton, were beginning to suspect that their 15-year-old daughter was on drugs, and later e-mails and faxes exchanged between mother and daughter over her last years, when Hamilton was living in an isolated cabin by herself in Gunnison, Colo., and sending periodic installments to a story she was writing. Sunrise in Memphis related a whimsical road trip to Graceland, Tenn., by the 23-year-old hard-drinking Kate and a sweet, gentlemanly cowboy called F.M.; the story prompted Hamilton to take off on a real-life road trip through the South, sending impressionistic dispatches to Burnett. Sunrise in Memphis remained unfinished, but appears at the end of this poignant, piecemeal work.