About your Book:
Kirkus Reviews did a good synopsis for me. Here it is in its entirety
McKendry’s debut memoir begins with recollections of a childhood in Japan before shifting focus to her new life in the Midwest with her American husband. The author opens with traumatic memories of her alcoholic father beating her mother. But her childhood wasn’t entirely unhappy; McKendry shares several pleasant recollections, like enjoying the apple pie her father purchased for her 10th birthday. The story continues in chronological order: learning English at school, meeting and marrying husband David—an American stationed at an Air Force base in Tokyo—and her subsequent immigration to the United States. Shortly after their arrival, McKendry gives birth to two sons; this, however, doesn’t stop her from pursuing her education and ultimately earning her MBA. She climbs the ranks at Chrysler, detailing her career there with a lengthy chapter. There are setbacks along the way—financial troubles, a debilitating car accident—but, ultimately, McKendry’s story is one of success. The author’s exhaustive research into Japanese–American relations, dating back to the late 1800s, sets this memoir apart from similar titles. She contextualizes not only her own experiences, but those of her ancestors. As some readers might presume, one of the reasons the author delves into her history is to discover what turned her father into an abusive alcoholic. Precise explanations of cultural differences—“doing everything quietly, so as not to disturb others, is considered good manners”—are enlightening and engaging. Most effective, however, is the author’s ability to speak both affectionately and critically—though never negatively—about her native country. A somewhat inspiring memoir and a thank-you note to the author’s adopted homeland.
I was born and raised in Japan during the post-World War II period, went through college there, worked briefly at Newsweek Tokyo Bureau, and finally came to America in 1972 at the age of 23, the country of my childhood dreams.
In 1984, an MBA thesis on U.S.-Japan trade relationship landed me a job at Chrysler. Because of my background, I did some assignments directly for Mr. Lee Iacocca, then Chairman of the Board of Chrysler. I worked there for 20 years between 1984 and 2004.
The market crash of 2000 – during which the value of my 401(k) retirement account plummeted – threatened the very foundation of my financial future. This, in turn, made me ponder what it would take to remain free and independent for the rest of my life in America. Consequently, in 2004, I left Chrysler to face this massive challenge as an independent investor.
My goals to be reached by 2024 – when I will be 75 years old – are to (1) not be dependent on pension income, (2) not be dependent on social-security income, and (3) be able to pay for medical expenses out of pocket so as not to be dependent on Medicare. I live my life with the conviction that if I fail in these pursuits in this country of freedom and independence, I have no one else to blame but myself. Freedom comes with enormous personal responsibilities. And, yet, I cherish being able to face these challenges head on as a naturalized-American citizen.
How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
I decided to self-publish through CreateSpace, which is wholly owned by Amazon.
(On my website, under “Publishing,” I had posted about the thought process that went into deciding whether to go through the traditional route or self-publish, and how I ultimately decided to self-publish. Here is the link: http://reikomckendry.com/publishing/self-publishing-story/)
Originally posted 2012-09-02 10:54:54.