Booth, Pat 1942-

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BOOTH, Pat 1942-

PERSONAL: Born 1942; daughter of a dockworker and a shop owner; married Garth Wood (a psychiatrist; died, 2001), 1977; children: Orlando, Camelia. Education: Attended school in London, England. Religion: Roman Catholic.

ADDRESSES: Home—London, England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Little, Brown & Co., 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.

CAREER: Worked variously as a fashion model and boutique owner in London, England, until 1968; photojournalist for London Sunday Times and Cosmopolitan magazine, beginning in 1968; writer.

WRITINGS:

The Lady and the Champ (novel), Sphere, 1980.

(With Joan Price) Making Faces, Joseph (London, England), 1980.

Rags to Riches, Sphere, 1981.

Self Portrait (self-illustrated photography book), Quartet (New York, NY), 1983.

(Editor) Master Photographers: The World's Great Photographers on Their Art and Technique, C. N. Potter (New York, NY), 1983.

Sparklers, 1983.

The Big Apple, 1984.

Palm Beach (novel), Crown (New York, NY), 1985.

The Sisters (novel), Crown (New York, NY), 1987.

Beverly Hills (novel), Crown (New York, NY), 1989.

Malibu (novel), Crown (New York, NY), 1990.

Miami (novel), Ballantine (New York, NY), 1992.

All for Love (novel), Crown (New York, NY), 1993.

Three Complete Novels, Random House (New York, NY), 1993.

Marry Me: A Novel, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1996.

American Icon: A Novel, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1999.

Nashville (novel), Little, Brown (London, England), 2003.

SIDELIGHTS: Pat Booth first came to prominence as a fashion model in the 1960s, but she later established herself as a world-class author and a best-selling novelist. Coming from humble beginnings in London's East End, she left school at the age of fifteen to launch her modeling career. Once she became well established in that profession, she used her success to help launch some fashion boutiques. In 1968, she took up photography, and became particularly well known for her portraits, which included those of the Queen Mother, Bianca Jagger, and David Bowie. Some of her photographs were even given permanent placement in Britain's National Portrait Gallery and the Munich State Museum. During the early 1980s, her work appeared in periodicals and exhibitions, and she also published a book, Master Photographers: The World's Great Photographers on Their Art and Technique, which was favorably regarded by those in the field.

Booth had already published a few novels, but they had not attracted much interest. With the success of her photography book, Crown Publishers became interested in her fiction-writing skills. The company contracted with the author to write a book about Palm Beach, Florida, which serves as a playground for the very rich. Palm Beach was a popular success along the lines of a novel by Judith Krantz or Jackie Collins, filled with exotic locales, expensive shopping sprees, wild plot twists, and steamy sex scenes. The formula worked, and Palm Beach sold over a million copies, reaching the number three spot on paperback bestseller lists. Booth's subsequent novels repeated her success, with glamorous settings such as Miami, Beverly Hills, and Malibu. Critics were less enthusiastic than the general public about Booth's books; a Rapport reviewer called Miami an "overblown piece of fluff," and a Publishers Weekly writer, discussing the same book, stated that the author "goes way over the top."

Booth tried a new type of story in All for Love, a medical thriller published in 1993. It concerns Tari Jones, a second-year medical student who seems to have unusual spiritual powers. A debate arises as to whether Tari is approaching a schizophrenic breakdown, or if she is in fact a contemporary saint. When doctors plan to "cure" Tari with Thorazine, a powerful medication for mentally disturbed patients, her boyfriend spirits her away. A Publishers Weekly contributor didn't overlook the book's "inane insights," plus "pages of psychobabble" and "a wildly melodramatic conclusion," but acknowledged that Booth "nicely captures the glitzy aura of Miami's trendy South Beach." Her next book, Marry Me, features a Santa Fe, New Mexico setting, though the action moves from the American Southwest to Connecticut to Manhattan and the Mediterranean. The central character is Charles Ford, a rancher and artist who is desired and pursued by three women. Although the characters "tend toward caricature," in the estimation of the Publishers Weekly writer, the novel still qualifies as "an unabashed pageturner." Booklist's Donna Seaman commented, "Booth is adept at this brand of aerobicized escapism, putting her happy readers through the paces they unabashedly desire."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, August, 1993, William Beatty, review of All for Love, p. 2012; February 1, 1996, Donna Seaman, review of Marry Me: A Novel, p. 898.

British Book News, June, 1987.

Chicago Tribune, July 19, 1989.

Daily Mail, May 5, 2001, Glenys Roberts, "A Sixties Sex Kitten, Her Society Husband and a Tragic Mystery," p. 24.

Daily Telegraph, April 15, 2002, p. 14.

Detroit Free Press, August 16, 1989.

Detroit News, August 24, 1989.

Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 1989, p. 784; November 1, 1991, p. 1359; February 1, 1996, p. 152; October 15, 2002, review of Nashville, p. 1490.

Library Journal, Paula M. Zieselman, review of Marry Me, p. 104; January, 2000, Melody A. Moxley, review of American Icon: A Novel, p. 187.

Listener, August 9, 1990.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, August 12, 1990, p. 10.

Mail on Sunday (London, England), March 2, 2003, Cheryl Markosky, "The Model Sanctuary," p. 2.

New York Times Book Review, September 17, 1989, p. 25; August 12, 1990.

People, December 2, 1985; August 13, 1990, Joanne Kaufman, review of Malibu, p. 29.

Publishers Weekly, June 23, 1989, p. 48; June 29, 1990, Sybil Steinberg, review of Malibu, p. 85; August 3, 1990, review of Malibu, p. 50; November 29, 1991, p. 42; July 26, 1993, review of All for Love, p. 57; February 12, 1996, review of Marry Me, p. 56; November 23, 1998, review of American Icon, p. 56.

Rapport, January 1992, p. 38.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), January 26, 1992, p. 6.