Not surprising, given Obama’s character, but interesting nonetheless:
One of the more mysterious characters from President Obama’s 1995 autobiography Dreams From My Father is the so-called ‘New York girlfriend.’ Obama never referred to her by name, or even by psuedonym, but he describes her appearance, her voice, and her mannerisms in specific detail.
But Obama has now told biographer David Maraniss that the ‘New York girlfriend’ was actually a composite character, based off of multiple girlfriends he had both in New York City and in Chicago.
So why is he admitting it now? Because someone did some basic journalism and asked one of his known girlfriends:
Though Dreams From My Father is an autobiography, and hence non-fiction, Obama makes no mention of this “compression,” nor is their any note by the publisher, Broadway Books. In fact, Obama only acknowledged the “compression” after Maraniss learned that [Genevieve] Cook had no recollection of some of the events at which Obama said she was present.
“In Dreams from My Father, Obama chose to emphasize a racial chasm that unavoidably separated him from the woman he described as his New York girlfriend,” Maraniss writes, before offering a passage from the book in which they go to see a play by a black playwright.
However, in a later edition of the book, he did offer a general admission that some parts weren’t quite as truthful as others:
In the reissue of “Dreams from My Father,” Obama writes in the introduction that “some of the characters that appear are composites of people I’ve known.”
“Composites” means that the people he describes never really existed as he describes them (because he’s including things from other people), and thus are fictitious. And an autobiography is supposed to be about a person’s true life.
One also wonders if he cherry-picked things about various people to make certain groups look good, or look bad. Knowing how divisive his Presidency has been, I wouldn’t doubt it.