As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling

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9780806536736: As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling
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"A haunting and beautifully written memoir about the creator of The Twilight Zone." --Robert Redford

"Beautifully written. . .I laughed and I cried. I plan to read it again once I catch my breath." --Carol Burnett

In this intimate, lyrical memoir about her iconic father, Anne Serling reveals the fun-loving dad and family man behind the imposing figure the public saw hosting The Twilight Zone each week. After his unexpected, early death, Anne, just 20, was left stunned. But through talking to his friends, poring over old correspondence, and recording her childhood memories, Anne not only found solace, but gained a deeper understanding of this remarkable man. Now she shares her discoveries, along with personal photos, revealing letters, and scenes of his childhood, war years, and their family's time together. A tribute to Rod Serling's legacy as a visionary, storyteller, and humanist, As I Knew Him is also a moving testament to the love between fathers and daughters.

"A tender, thoughtful and very personal portrait of American genius Rod Serling." --Alice Hoffman

"Richly told. . .a haunting memoir about grief, creativity, and a father-daughter bond as memorable and magical as any Twilight Zone episode." --Caroline Leavitt

"Filled with anecdotes and self-reflection. . .Serling still casts an outsized shadow." --Variety

"Lush memories of a remarkable father and adept analysis of his work." --Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author:

Before becoming a full-time writer, Anne Serling was an early childhood teacher with a bachelor’s degree from Elmira College. She serves on the board of directors of the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation and is involved with the Rod Serling School of Fine Arts "Fifth Dimension" program. She lives in New York. Visit her at anneserling.com or on Facebook.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Exploring her deep bond with the creator of The Twilight Zone, the author delves into her father's writing career, his deep commitment to social justice and her grief following his death.

Rod Serling (1924–1975) served proudly in World War II and then attended college. He began his writing career after winning a prize for a radio-show script, and he became a 1960s icon as host of The Twilight Zone: "the man in the dark suit standing against a dramatically lit set, intoning cautionary observations about human beings, fate, or the universe." But fame was radically different in those days, his daughter writes; celebrities were less afflicted by "the mayhem, the pandemonium, or the complete and disrespectful lack of privacy that exists now."

During Anne's childhood, the family lived in Los Angeles for the school year and decamped for the summer to a cabin in upstate New York, where everyone could relax. At the end of its third season, The Twilight Zone was cancelled, and Serling began teaching at Antioch College. CBS later resumed the series for two more years, but Serling was less creatively involved with the show, though he still wrote some episodes.

His liberal ideas affected his reputation with conservative TV executives, the author argues. Discrimination and prejudice were anathema to Serling, and it infuriated him when story ideas rooted in his principles were shunted aside in favor of simple entertainment. After writing some scripts for the TV show Night Gallery, for example, he complained to Universal Studios, "I have no interest in a series which is purely and uniquely suspenseful but totally uncommentative on anything."

The author deftly utilizes correspondence to illustrate the bumpy interplay between her father's strong beliefs and the commercial imperatives of network TV, illuminating as well the political and pop culture of the turbulent 1960s. A piquant memoir blending lush memories of a remarkable father and adept analysis of his work.

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9780806536156: As I Knew Him:: My Dad, Rod Serling

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ISBN 10:  0806536152 ISBN 13:  9780806536156
Publisher: Citadel, 2013
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