Books: Charlie's Sister

KNOCK WOOD Candice Bergen Simon & Schuster; 356 pages; $15.95

Memoirs of movie actresses are expected to be long on gossip, short on wit and veracity, and inferior in humility to the autobiographies of deposed presidential aides. They are also expected to be ghostwritten, or catered: you call the service, and they do the book. So much for expectations. Candice Bergen's account of her first 38 years not only is handwritten, it is one of the better books of the season so far: a shrewd, funny, loving and sometimes appalling account of how it felt to grow up in a family that...

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