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My Life to Live cover art

My Life to Live

Written by: Agnes Nixon,Carol Burnett - foreword
Narrated by: Judith Ivey,Carol Burnett
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Publisher's Summary

From the Emmy-winning writer and creator of All My Children, One Life to Live, and Loving, a memoir of her trailblazing rise to the top of the television industry, including behind-the-scenes stories from some of the most beloved soaps of all time.

Before there was Erica Kane, Adam Chandler, or Victoria Lord, there was Agnes Nixon, a young girl who dreamed up stories for paper dolls. Those tales she imagined - ones filled with ambitions, rivalries, and romances - would soon echo her own path to success. In a memoir filled with as much drama as the soaps she penned, Nixon shares her journey as daughter of a broken marriage who fought back against her father's wish that she take over the family burial garments business, overcame the heartbreak of losing her fiancé in WWII, and later became one of the most successful names in the TV industry.

Fans of Nixon's greatest creations, All My Children and One Life to Live, will delight at Nixon's own incredible life as well as the behind-the-scenes insight she lends to daytime's most popular programs. Nixon will share the inspiration behind and casting of the iconic character Erica Kane, played by Susan Lucci; the story bible for All My Children, and how it became lost and then locked away in a drawer for many years; and how Nixon positioned ABC to become the media giant it is today, despite pushback from her male counterparts. This candid glimpse behind the curtain of the soap opera industry will charm soap fans and story lovers alike.

With a foreword written and read by Carol Burnett.

©2017 Agnes Nixon (P)2017 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"I owe my career to Agnes Nixon, who was not only a brilliant creator and writer, but also my friend. My Life to Live is full of wonderful, evocative stories from her life and career that even I hadn't heard. And in typical Agnes fashion, her storytelling is full of humanity, social relevance and delicious humor! I know that her legions of fans will treasure it as much as I do." (Susan Lucci)
"Aggie Nixon is the only person I've ever known whom I didn't say awful things about. And much to my dismay, her memoir did nothing to change that. Unforgivable." (Larry David)
"[Agnes's] career wasn't easy to come by.... We know she won, but the story of her ups and downs make this book a true page-turner." (Carol Burnett, from the foreword)

What listeners say about My Life to Live

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  • Buddy
  • 2017-04-05

Fascinating autobiography with a tinge of disappointment.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

If you loved the soap opera medium like I did, then I would recommend this book more as a history lesson as to how the genre came about. It talks about how there is still a need for soap operas today's day and age.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Learning about Agnes Nixon's life was a treat. I didn't know much about her other than she was a creator and pioneer for two iconic soaps. It was fascinating to learn how she came up with some of her storylines and her characters. But, so much was left to be desired because I wanted to know more about All My Children and One Life to Live in greater detail. For example, there was little to no mention of Erika Slezak in the book. The history and the backstage goings-on could have been more detailed and enriched.

What does Judith Ivey and Carol Burnett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Judith Ivey and Carol Burnett help to shed light on who Agnes Nixon was in just how much she accomplished.

Do you think My Life to Live needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I wish her family could write more to the story. So much of the history of AMC and OLTL seemed to be omitted from the book. I was left wanting to know more as I only started watching AMC in 1997 when I was just 14 years old.

Any additional comments?

In conclusion, this is a really great read if you want to learn more about Agnes Nixon's life. But, in my opinion, it falls short of giving you the behind-the-scenes stories at All My Children One Life to Live that it promises. The soaps themselves are really only discussed within the last four chapters of the book. Again, very little is discussed about One Life to Live which I found very surprising and disheartening. But, the history lessons contained in this book, as well as learning how Agnes triumphed over adversity in the male-dominated world is inspiring.

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  • lesliejoyce
  • 2021-04-02

A must read for all ALL soap opera fans!!!!

As a long time fan of Agnes Nixon’s soap operas One Life to Live and All My Children. I have always admired Agnes and wondered how she thought up all her characters - her characters were always so relatable - now I know what pioneer she was...learning from the legendary Irma Phillips she found a way to further visualize the medium that I love so much. There never will be another like her and it is truly sad that the ABC network executives could not /would not see that her story telling is as relevant today as it was back in the 70s when it premiered. Thanks Aggie for the many decades of information and entertainment- YOU ARE GREATLY MISSED!

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  • Missy B.
  • 2017-05-16

Amazing woman!

Amazing isn't really good enough. What Agnes Nixon did on her own made her a pioneer. She went through tragedies and setbacks and came out on top. What an inspiration!