Knock Wood

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 7/1/2014
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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Candice Bergen’s bestselling 1984 memoir: an “engaging, intelligent, and wittily self-deprecating autobiography” (The New York Times).

Candice Bergen was born into the heady Hollywood of the 1950s. Before she became a celebrity in her own right and wrote her memoir, A Fine Romance, she wrote this book about being the “celebrity offspring” of Edgar Bergen, vaudeville and radio’s greatest dignitary/comedian. Her “sibling” was Charlie McCarthy, the impudent dummy beloved of millions. Bergen, much as he loved his daughter, was a man who “kept his emotions pressed and neatly hung,” and was more comfortable speaking to—and through—his brainchild. Charlie always had an answer. Charlie couldn’t let anyone down. Above all, Charlie never had to leave the paradise that was childhood.

Knock Wood is a book about growing up—about the comedy of expectations that ruled Candice Bergen’s early life, about the ironies that attended her exotic rites of passage. The world offered her a wealth of options: adolescence in Swiss boarding schools; at nineteen, a plum role in Sidney Lumet’s The Group; quick entry into the profession of photojournalism; automatic acceptance among the esteemed company of the moment—be it the international jet set, Bel Air in the 1960s, or the world of radical politics in the 1970s. But always she carried the conviction that her gifts were untested, her luck unearned.

Told with wit, self-deprecation, and a rare degree of courage, Knock Wood is the extraordinary record of Candice Bergen’s coming of age. It is at once the moving fable of the love between a father and a daughter, of a woman’s triumph over self-doubt, and a dazzling journal of American life and times over the past four decades.

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