Author of "The Godfather's Daughter" inspires writers


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos



  • Rita Gigante




  • The cover of Rita's memoir, featuring her father Vincent "The Chin" Gigante




— Rita Gigante, author of The Godfather’s Daughter: An Unlikely Story of Love, Healing, and Redemption, spoke to thirteen budding memoirists at “Bearing Witness: How to Write Your Memoir,” a writing workshop hosted by The Tree of Health Center January 13-14, 2018.

Gigante, 50, was invited as guest speaker to share her transformative life journey, starting with the traumas and anxieties of growing up in a mafia family and leading up to today.

“It’s always good for new writers to experience—and even hear—the voices of memoirists other than me,” said Lorraine Ash, who runs memoir workshops throughout the tri-state area. “Rita is particularly inspirational and engaging.”

A healer, Gigante now runs Space of Grace Healing Center in Rockland County, New York, with her wife, Bobbie Sterchele.

Her late father, Vincent “The Chin” Gigante, was head of the Genovese crime family. In the 1990s, he was known as the dominant force inside the Commission, the mob’s ruling body encompassing all five families in the New York area.

“You’re all aware that before we come into this life, we make contracts with the people around us?” she asked the writers. “I can picture myself with a board of options before I came in.” She checked off options on an imaginary checklist in the air. “I’ll take a mafia father, a mother who gives away her power. Oh, I’ll take being a lesbian. I’ll take anxiety and depression.” She paused and regarded the group.

“What the f— was I thinking?”

Yet, she said, she has no regrets about growing up as she did, as painful as it was and as challenging as the fascinating road to her current spiritual life has been.

“My family were my greatest teachers,” she said.

At four points in her life, she said, her body reached a “zero point” at which all was taken from her and she had to clear and reset her body back to health. In a talk that was part heart-wrenching and always engaging, Gigante also had the memoirists laughing.

Julie Brown, one of the participants in “Bearing Witness,” called Gigante “a female Sebastian Maniscalco.”

“You’ve got to laugh in this life,” Gigante said. “It’s essential.”

TTOHC hosts the memoir writing workshops—as well as two ongoing memoir writing circles—because of its belief in the healing power of narrative writing. The next writer’s workshop intensive is scheduled for June 30 to July 1st. To learn more about this and other events at TTOHC, please visit www.ttohc.com or call (973) 500-8813.

TTOHC is a Natural and Spiritual Health Center. They provide services and classes to evolve the spirit, mind & body. Personal and professional growth is achieved through the spiritual foundation of MARCI®. MARCI® is an acronym for Mindfulness, Awareness, Responsibility, Compassion and Intuition.



Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

Yassin family spreads the Green Life in Andover

By Laurie Gordon
This is the first of a three-oart series about local health stores.
ANDOVER-Green Life Market urges people to educate themselves about what they put...

Read more »
Image

Andover BOE opens school year with new superintendent
By Mandy Coriston
— The Andover Regional Board of Education held its first meeting of the new school year on Tuesday night,...

Read more »
Image

With summer over, area residents will flock to autumn events
By LAURIE GORDON
SUSSEX COUNTY—It's been a hot end to summer, and the lure of cooler weather, pumpkins, and apple cider is calling. There are lots of great events in...

Read more »
Image

Fond memories of Lake Mohawk Pool
By Laurie Gordon
— Greg Leo, of Sparta, has been the General Manager of the Lake Mohawk Pool since 2012. There is now a...

Read more »
Image

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers



MOST READ

Local News
Cutting and grooming for decades
  • Sep 17, 2018
Local News
Pop-up Wizardfest at Stanhope House
  • Sep 18, 2018
Local News
R&T: Keeping fit for 40 years
  • Sep 18, 2018

MOST COMMENTED



Find more about Weather in Andover, NJ