“Child of the Sixties” Rifka Kreiter Journeys Through Protests, Liberation, and Transformation in Compelling New Memoir
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The 1960’s are one of the most fascinating and turbulent periods in America’s 20th century—and now, Rifka Kreiter sweeps readers into her life on the frontlines of the era’s most significant moments and movements, capturing her personal quest for liberation and self-discovery through her beautifully-written memoir, Home Free: Adventures of a Child of the Sixties (She Writes Press, May 16, 2017).
From Greenwich Village coffeehouses to a suicide attempt at age 18; from a face-to- face encounter with President Kennedy on the campaign trail and again as he lay in state after his assassination; Home Free is the incredible and inspiring true story of one woman’s journey to claim her freedom, heal her wounds, and find her voice during one of America’s most exciting, transformative eras.
About the Book
HOME FREE: After surviving a fraught childhood in New York and L.A., Rifka Kreiter revels in studying acting at the High School of Arts and dancing the Twist at the Peppermint Lounge. Her road leads through broken love affairs and virtually all the great
movements of the sixties, including civil rights marches in Mississippi, antiwar demonstrations in San Diego, and est seminars in Manhattan. On a deeper level, this is a profound quest to heal her psychic wounds and find spiritual meaning that she intuits lies beneath all the tumult of those times.
Here is an exploration of life’s deepest questions, as Rifka strives to bust free, be it with drugs, therapy or meditation. A triumphant story about a search for liberation on every level, Home Free ends with a
jaw-dropping discovery—one as unexpected as it is transformational.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: An astrologer once told RIFKA KREITER that a certain planetary conjunction in her chart signifies “an unusual life, full of unexpected happenings,” and this has certainly proved true. She studied acting at New York’s High School of Performing Arts, philosophy at City College of New York, and clinical psychology at Adelphi University. She worked as a waitress, hat-check
girl, and hearing researcher. She was Continuity Director at a New York radio station and Assistant Convention
Manager at the Concord Resort Hotel. More recently, she tutored SAT Prep courses and was Assistant Director of Admissions at a rural community college. Since 1976, she has been following an ancient yogic path; she lived in a meditation ashram for ten years, and traveled to India three times. Rifka currently teaches meditation.
At age fifty-five she met her life partner, an Upper West Side psychotherapist. They live happily together in suburban New Jersey. Learn more at RifkaKreiter.com.
Praise for Home Free
“This book is as bold, fearless, and brave as the young Riqui and as thoughtful and soulful as the adult, fully self-actualized Rifka. Raw at times, touching at others, and told with spirit, humor, and heart, Home Free holds nothing back as Kreiter takes the reader through a life that is as adventurous as it is remarkable.”— Leigh Gallagher, Assistant Managing Editor at Fortune, Co-chair of the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, and author of The Airbnb Story
“Utterly fearless in its openness, honesty, and risk-taking. Not merely a joyride down the rabbit hole of the counterculture, this is a story about survival and transcendence, told in a voice that is entirely authentic and that skirts the twin dangers of sensationalism and sentimentality. A truly absorbing and moving read.”– Céline Keating, author of Layla and Play for Me
“Kreiter’s journey through the Boomer zeitgeist on her quest for self-knowledge and self-fulfillment is the real thing. It is reminiscent without being melancholy, which makes it even more fun to read. You’ll remember the good old days but won’t necessarily wish to relive them, and will be moved by how Kreiter does.”– Marc Eliot, New York Times best-selling author of To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles and Death of a Rebel: The Life of Phil Ochs
An Interview With Rifka Kreiter
Home Free is a very personal story – why did you decide to share it?
For younger readers, I wanted to convey what it really felt like to live through those extraordinary times; for my peers, I wanted to share the fun of revisiting the adventures of our youth, when drugs, sex and rock ‘n’ roll ruled and everything seemed possible. On a deeper level, I hope readers find encouragement and hope from seeing how one person, who thought she was lost in immutable darkness, found her way to a path of boundless light.
Did you always aspire to be an author?
My first love was acting, but when I was in sixth grade, at Palms Elementary School in L.A., I used to spend spare time each day, when I’d finished a classroom assignment, writing a story about an Inca prince. (We were studying South American history.) During recess I’d read the story to classmates and was delighted when they’d pester me to read the next day’s installment. But, contrarian as I often was, my journals in adolescence and young adulthood are full of statements like “I’m not really a writer…” Turns out, this was a case of “The lady doth protest too much.
Out of all your experiences, which was the most fun to write about? Which was the most challenging?
Writing about July 1969, the summer of Woodstock, was the most fun. It was great to recall the mind-blowing cross-Canada trip when it felt like our whole generation was out on the road. As I wrote, memories surfaced. I had forgotten about that crash pad my boyfriend and I found in Winnipeg, when our VW bus broke down on a holiday weekend. There, incense burned all day and sequined Indian print cottons were spread to cover chairs, windows, and beds. At night, we sat around in a circle with maybe eight other people, some travelers, some who lived there or nearby, passing joints, talking, listening to music. Most challenging was trying to communicate the profound impact and sheer wonder of (what I was so fortunate to have) spiritual experiences that transformed my life.
Out of all your experiences, which do you feel was the most formative, or transformative, for you as a person?
Home Free recounts many powerful experiences, formative and transformative. One of these was an LSD trip, the second and last time I dropped acid, at age thirty. At one point that night, the entire landscape of my life appeared before me in high relief, like a topographical map. I saw that every minute detail had its place—there was a perfect order: each wild occurrence, every miserable “mistake” I’d made, fit precisely into a coherent whole. From this vantage point, not one of my choices could or should have been different. Witnessing the unique perfection of everything that happened, it was obvious that all the worrying I had done was utterly superfluous to this higher order. Since that moment, I’ve never been able to take my worrying quite so seriously.
How do you feel that being a “child of the sixties” shaped who you are today?
For one thing, I still feel part of a huge generation, a family of compadres who share humanistic values and boundary-busting tendencies, though of course many have gone their separate ways in life. I’m still a rebel, still resist living a life of bourgeois conventionality. Here is my subjective image of “my generation:” Cool, laid back, dope-smoking, but active and creative. Freedom loving – above all, freedom-loving. “Talkin’ Bout my Generation…” I love it: I love the music, I love the values, I love the spirit. Long live the spirit of the sixties!
What advice would you give to others who may be experiencing a personal, spiritual journey?
First and foremost: MEDITATE! Regular meditation (even for a few minutes, regularly practiced) opens pathways to your inner wisdom. Learn to recognize that inner voice and let it steer you toward the books, teachers, paths that are right for you. Sooner or later, your sincere efforts will bear fruit.
What is the number one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
That a mysterious and boundless consciousness, whose nature is absolute joy, is real and accessible to all who truly seek it.
For more information:
Anglle Barbazon, publicist