Plot: Filled with humorous anecdotes, pictures, and a unique perspective from an immigrant's child growing up in the south, this memoir offers the reader a dive into childhood trauma, and learning to rethink those experiences. Atchity is a seasoned writer and storyteller, peppering his work with homages to the literary greats, such as Homer. The reader will enjoy this novel, and likely come away from it with helpful knowledge to help them traverse through their own life journey.
Prose/Style: Atchity's prose reads like an erudite grandpa telling a story to some curious grandkids. His flowing, informal language mixed with elegant phrasing entices the reader to continue along on his life journey; he spices up the writing with a perfect amount of pictures, poetry, and quotes to keep the reader interested.
Originality: Although memoirs are not uncommon, Atchity has lived an uncommon enough life to make this memoir interesting for the reader. With his unique heritage and complicated parental relationships, his work will speak to a wide range of readers, and offer curious insights.
Character Development/Execution: Being a memoir, this work is mostly focused on Atchity and his experiences. The rest of the characters present more as players in a game that are there to support the story that is the author's life, rather than living their own lives separate from him. However, he presents these characters honestly according to his own perspectives, which provide insight into his development at the various stages of his life.
Date Submitted: October 05, 2021
A HEARTFELT AUTOBIOGRAPHY
A child is born, and he should be loved and embraced. A child is born and should be welcomed into his family. A child is born and instead is shunned, cast aside and made to feel he does not exist. A child fears crowds and hides under his bed when company comes. Even his name was not truly the first thought on their mind as the proper namesake for him. A father who called him an entity and pushed him away.
My Obit: Daddy Holding Me: Kenneth Atchity: one man’s journey to find who he is. Dealing with his parents created stress and demanding situations and then his kindergarten teacher creates more. The difficulties and hardships a young child faces and must try and make life alerting changes that create conflict, and courage to find out who he really is, dealing with family posed rules and self-imposed expectations to turn into the person he hopes to be one day.
Throughout the memoir the author shares his emotional upheavals dealing with his father, his impatience and his critiques of his friendships, his orientations and even educational goals. Meeting a Jesuit Priest and learning from him calling him Ziggy helped to define him in many ways. Sharing defining moments that most of us would not exactly want to remember, different issues with different instructors in many schools and then looking beyond that having to find his own way in the world, finding self-worth and his own way to look in the mirror and see himself for who he really is, took courage. Some stories are more powerful than others and some create an autobiography of a life that was filled with many hurdles, many unfortunate incidents, pleasures and a life that in the present has taken much from his past.
Some journeys are never ending and dealing with his family, their attitudes, his parents and how his father treated him and self-imposed restrictions in the end was quite courageous. Hoping the learn in his own heart his father’s true feelings for him, did he really love you and he shares his life, opens his heart, and of course his family recipes that he is able to duplicate and more. The past/present/future all in one.
The author tells the story in his own voice and the one about Tata’s Beans is inspirational and the one about double entry brings back memories. The story about his aunt’s grape leaves and the one about double entry proved how enterprising he can be. Dad gave him silver dollars, his uncle's extra money and he bought himself another ledger like his father's and kept it under his mattress to keep track of the actual expenditures and incomes. As he stated two different stories told with numbers. Uncle Jimmy and Uncle Tony provided two heartwarming and interesting stories. Jimmy was his intellectual role model and Tony different. Always trying to please his dad he includes a letter talking about his job working at Junior’s store and how much he earned. Always wanting him to be proud of him. The second section is my favorite focusing on his career choices, major in college and writing and editing as his direction. Losing his grandfather took a toll on him and the family and the picture on 179 highlights it all. His family seemed very diversified in the dishes they made, and Tata’s squash sounds great, and it’s followed by the corporate waiting room. So many facets of his life, so many people that impacted his choices and yet you can tell there is a certain darkness hanging over him when he thinks about his father. He just wants him to be proud of him.
As the stories continue the author delves into the many careers he decided upon, from writer and editor to movie producer and owner of a corporation and more. Each endeavor with its own pluses and drawbacks plus the emotional upheavals and changes. But throughout you can feel the tension within himself and his family dynamics plus the stories he relates about himself and his father. Each of his accomplishments are summarized at the end and yet does he ever realize that his father accepted him in his own way. The interesting interviews, imagine being interviewed by Dr. Joyce Brothers, meeting Dominick Dunne and Bruno from Dancing with the stars. Allowing us to attend his father’s funeral and hearing his voice and that of his family. Proud of his children and finding the photo that is on the cover and its meaning. Along the way he changes jobs, gets scholarships and is teaching but that was not to be permanent. Added in he shares special moments in time and the epilogue sums it up plus the poems that help express his emotions. Then he sees something that might bring it all into perspective a telegram that says: We are all immensely proud of your election as new editor of the Hoya: Congratulations. Imagine thinking his father is proud and then there are many other Kenny Letters that he finds. From Yale to Occidental College to pursuing this as a second career, editing producing and publishing and teaching through the years there are so many changes within himself and his life. The filing of the corporation and the Certificate of Incorporation just one surprise that he finds but there are more as he delves into the corporate binder before the first recorded minutes were two documents.
The author shares that on page 283. The many celebrities and their photos plus the final revelation about his father’s feelings and realizing that he is truly a success within himself and to others. An inspirational autobiography taken within his own timelines and flashbacks to help readers understand his relationships with family and friends. I loved the cooking recipes and the fact that his aunts were so special to him. Author Kenneth Atchity: your words are profound, your story hits home in many respects and your successes will always be there and your father’s photo will remind you that your Dad is always going to HOLD YOU UP!
This session, we have the multitalented Ken Atchity, a best-selling author, producer, literary manger, professor and editor who aptly goes by the moniker The Story Merchant. He got his B.A. at Georgetown, his Ph.D. at Yale. He was a tenured professor of comparative literature at Occidental College and a distinguished instructor at UCLA Writers program. He’s worked in publishing and filmmaking and is a member of the TV Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the Producer’s Guild.
Listen to Marsha Wietecha's Born To Talk Radio Show with Ken Atchity about his latest is "My Obit: Daddy Holding Me." Ken’s Takeaways:“I’ve always lived my life following the observation of the Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset: “I think the only immoral thing is for a being not to live every second of his life with the utmost intensity.” That means exploring your every potential, pushing every envelope, jumping into every opportunity. Go for it! You only live once for sure!”
Denise Griffitts - Your Partner In Success™ Radio Interviews Ken Atchity Kenneth Atchity, Founder of Story Merchant Books and author of 'Tell Your Story to the World & Sell it for Millions' joins Host Denise Griffitts again to answer some very important questions:The power of storytelling and the business of storytelling.
What makes a great storyteller?
What are the elements of a great story?
How did he go from telling jokes to selling stories for serious money?
How does a story get to Hollywood and the big screen?
Listen in to our first conversation "Things Every Great Story Has to Have."
My Obit: Daddy Holding Me Garners Honorable Mention BIOGRAPHY/AUTOBIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR in the 2021 New England Book Festival
Kenneth Atchity's My Obit: Daddy Holding Me Garners HONORABLE MENTION in BIOGRAPHY/AUTOBIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR at the Paris Book Festival, which honors the best of international publishing.
The Frankie Boyer Show Interviews Ken Atchity about his memoir My Obit: Daddy Holding Me, Hollywood and the writing process.
Ken Atchity is a writer, editor, professor, producer, literary manager who’s spent his life in the world of stories. Ken has written over 20 books, produced more than 30 films for television and theater, and made hundreds of Hollywood and traditional publishing deals for his writer clients, including nearly 20 New York Times bestsellers.