Books by Sheila Weller

CARRIE FISHER by Sheila Weller
NONFICTION
Released: Nov. 12, 2019

"Whether you were well-acquainted with Fisher or not, this book will make you miss her."
An intimate and effusive tribute to Carrie Fisher (1956-2016). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"Inspiring bios of today's professional heroines."
The long, lonely, unlovely scramble to making it to the top in TV news. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2008

"Definitely a guilty pleasure, but still a solid contribution to the story of 20th-century popular music."
Half collective biography, half music-industry dish about three singer-songwriters who represented a generation of women on "a course of self-discovery, change, and unhappy confrontation with the limits of change." Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: March 1, 2003

"Equal parts emotional tissue-party and shrewd cultural history."
Poignant memoir of a not-so-typical New York Jewish family's experiences in the midcentury Hollywood demimonde. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

Weller, the author of bestsellers on O.J. Simpson and Amy Fisher, offers a great deal of information, some of it stunning and not widely known, about another high-profile case: that of Alex Kelly, the one-time star high-school athlete recently found guilty of rape. Last June, Kelly was convicted of one 1986 rape, and he is scheduled to be tried next month on another rape charge. But Weller also unearths several other women in the young man's hometown, Darien, Conn., who say that Kelly raped them, or attempted to, and other sources corroborated their stories to Weller. His violent pathology is all the more disturbing for how it was supported by the people around him because he was a star wrestler. Kelly was also a drug addict who assured his teachers, parents, and coaches that he was cured even when there was evidence to the contrary, and a daredevil party animal admired by other boys. Weller sketches quite convincingly a culture in which being wealthy and male could excuse an enormous amount of cruelty: Darien is the kind of suburban town where sexism and status-obsession seem particularly intense. But though Weller's analysis seems on-target and her reporting generally thorough, her constant rush to judgment can be intrusive. It's hard not to have a strong reaction to Kelly's crimes and to the criminal indulgence of his parents, who helped him escape judgment for seven years. But Weller can be harsh on others whose offenses seem far less serious, for instance, broadly indicting the spoiled and badly behaved teenagers of Darien. And she muddies her story with her focus on the actions of ``lax, licentious,'' or divorced couples who let their offspring run wild, since, as she admits, the Kellys ``did not fit [that] bill.'' Solid reporting and social analysis, though a more neutral, less judgmental tone would have served the writer well. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: April 1, 1992

Third book on the 1987 murder of Diane Pikul by her millionaire stock-analyst husband, this one the most intimate; by the author of the so-so novel Hansel and Gretel in Beverly Hills (1978). Previous tellings of this story include Richard T. Pienciak's exhaustively detailed spellbinder, Deadly Masquerade (1990), which focused largely on the murderer, Joseph Pikul; and Rafael Yglesias's novelization of the murder, The Murderer Next Door (1990), which was less satisfying but a strong read all the same. Weller once met Diane Pikul and was a close friend of Diane's best friend, who with others had long advised Diane to leave her violent husband. In the year she was murdered, Diane, 44, had worked as a publisher's assistant at Harper's magazine for seven months in an attempt to become self-supporting and had renewed her efforts to become a writer by attending a writing class led by Allan Gurganus. Weller focuses her story on Diane rather than on the crime, giving the victim as much or more space as Joe, and has interviewed many of Diane's fellow workers and writing-class members. The author's Diane, while still tied to Joe by her low income, two children, and ongoing divorce suit, is less the shrill and greedy woman of Pienciak's version, more of a sophisticate struggling to stay sane while bound to a madman. Joe comes through, as ever, as an almost mythic nut: an abused child who later became a cross-dresser, a brilliant student, and an early millionaire; then, a failure and a recovering alcoholic on the rebound financially; later, a wife- beater but loving father of two children; and, finally, an AIDS- ridden psychotic murderer released on bail and given custody of his kids—which had Manhattan in an uproar. This story is hardening into legend, with Diane here a worthy and moving foil to the outsized ego of her husband and his mishmash fantasy life. Read full book review >