The New York Times, April 1, 2017 – Emma Booker was an “unapologetic, outspoken, defiant woman”, the late American novelist, playwright and essayist said in a new biography.
Booker was born in Brooklyn, New York, and attended the prestigious Brooklyn Academy of Music and Drama, where she honed her stagecraft and writing skills.
She later moved to Los Angeles and earned her degree from the University of Southern California.
But her life, as well as her literary career, were blighted by substance abuse and depression, according to her biographer, Alice Waters.
The author told Al Jazeera that she believed that Booker had a “deep-seated personality disorder”, which led to depression and anxiety, which she felt compelled to confront in her autobiography.
She also said Booker, who died at the age of 86 on March 24, was “totally self-destructive”.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Waters said Booker’s suicide was “the single most significant event in the lives of the four women” who would form the basis of her new biography of the author.
“It is the single greatest act of defiance I have ever witnessed,” Waters told the newspaper.
“The first book is the greatest, and this is the ultimate one.”
Waters said Booker had been diagnosed with depression and was prescribed anti-depressants.
“In the early part of her life she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but I do not know how she ended up with depression,” Waters said.
“Her diagnosis of bipolar disorder is a bit like her diagnosis of substance abuse.
It’s hard to imagine how someone could have gone from bipolar disorder to depression.”
The book was written in part by Waters herself.
She said Booker was not the first American author to deal with substance abuse issues.
“I don’t think there are many authors in history who have dealt with the substance abuse problems that Emma had,” Waters added.
“And I think it’s one of the great mysteries of our time.”‘
We could have lived differently’She said the author had been “struck by a lack of self-respect” and was unable to deal “with the consequences of her actions”.
“She had become a self-absorbed, self-aggrandising person,” Waters continued.
“She was so arrogant that she had to constantly remind herself that she was a person, that she could have been different.”
What’s more, she was completely self-dependent, and she was not able to recognise that others were important, or she was unwilling to work towards their needs.
“The memoir is due to be published in the US on February 11, 2017.
‘She could have ended up anywhere’In the book, Waters described Booker as a “very talented writer” who “could have ended her life in any number of ways”.”
In some ways, she could easily have ended it on a whim,” Waters wrote.”
For her, the world was a vast, vast place and she could not bear to lose control of the world, or to be left behind.””
If she could only have ended the book in her own words, the first sentence would have been, ‘We could’ve lived differently’,” Waters said, adding that the author was “wary of telling anyone else what she thought”.’
I had no idea’Waters wrote that Booker “was a profoundly complex person, and I am certain that she would have felt the same”.’
Emma would have lived her life as a normal human being'”I had never met Emma, and had no knowledge of her,” Waters went on to say.”
Emma was a very smart woman, and an extremely compassionate person.
“But she was also a deeply self-centered person.
She had no intention of leaving the world she had created, and, in fact, she would not have had a choice.”
Wings said Booker did not like to share her feelings about her family.
“As Emma, she didn’t have any problems with her family, except that she did not want to be associated with them,” Waters explained.
“When you’re in the public eye, and you are the face of your country, you’re bound to want to hide, but Emma was a selfless person.”‘
Emmas life was not a reflection of her’In her biography, Waters added that Booker was “not a model for her daughter, but her daughter would have seen her as a person”.
“Emmas daughter would probably not have accepted her as her mother if she knew what she was,” Waters concluded.
“There is no doubt that her life was a reflection not of her, but of her.”