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Biography of Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker (1893 - 1967)

Dorothy Parker was one of the most successful and influential women writers of her era. Dorothy Rothschild was born on August 22, 1893 in West End, N.J. Her mother was Scottish and her father Jewish. She was "a late unexpected arrival in a loveless family". At the age of four her mother died. Her father remarried and Dorothy's home life was strained and distant at best. She was educated in private schools in N.J. and N.Y.C. Dorothy suffered two tragedies as a young woman. Her brother Henry died aboard the Titanic and a yearlater her father passed away. Dorothy moved to New York City in 1911 where she lived in a boarding house and worked as a piano player at a dance school. At the age of 21 she began submitting her writing to various magazines and papers. Her poem "Any Porch" was accepted and published by Vanity Fair. A few months later she was hired by Vogue, a sister publication of Vanity Fair. While working at Vogue her submissions to Vanity Fair continued to be published. After two years of working at Vogue she was transferred to Vanity Fair. In 1917 she married Edwin Parker, a stock broker. The marriage only lasted a brief time, but now she was Mrs. Dorothy Parker. At Vanity Fair she became New York's only female drama critic at the time. In the spring of 1919 she was invited to the Algonquin Hotel because of her connections at Vanity Fair and her reputation as a drama critic. This was the beginning of the famous Algonquin Round Table, an renowned intellectual literary circle.Dorothy was the only female founding member. It brought together such writers as Robert Benchley, Robert Sherwood, James Thurber, George Kaufman and many others. Dorothy was still writing for Vanity Fair but her reviews were becoming increasingly sarcastic and unfavorable. She was fired from the magazine in 1921. To earn money she began writing subtitles for a movie by D.W. Griffith.

Dorothy soon found another job at the magazine Ainslee's where she could be as sarcastic, bitchy, and witty as she pleased. In 1922 she wrote her first short story - "Such a PrettyLittle Picture" - this was the beginning of her literary career. In January of 1924 Dorothy divorced and moved into the Algonquin Hotel. She began writing plays; "Close Harmony" was her first. The first issue of The New Yorker was published in early 1925 and Dorothy contributed drama reviews and poetry for the first few issues. In February of 1926 she set off for Paris, but continued contributing articles to the New Yorker and Life. While in France she befriended Earnest Hemingway; surprisingly, considering his male chauvinist attitudes. Dorothy returned to New York in November. Her first book of poetry, "Enough Rope", was published and received favorable reviews as well ad being a commercial success. In 1927 she became very involved in the Sacco and Vanzetti trial. She traveled to Boston to join the protests against the execution of two innocent men. During the protest she was arrested but refused to travel in the paddy wagon, insisting on walking to jail. She was a committed socialist from this day until her death.

In October Dorothy became the book reviewer for the The New Yorker Magazine, under the title "The Constant Reader". In February of 1929 Dorothy's short story "The Big Blonde" was published and she won the prestigious O. Henry award for the best short story of the year. That same year Dorothy began doing screen writing in Hollywood. She moved to Hollywoodbecause she needed the money and was offered a contract by MGM. Dorothy wrote many screenplays over the next decade. In 1933 she once again traveled to Europe where she met her second husband Alan Campbell. He was also of Scottish-Jewish descent, and a rumored bisexual. They became screen writing partners and signed a contract with Paramount Pictures in 1935. In 1936 she helped found the Anti Nazi League. In 1937 Dorothy won an academy award for her joint screenplay of "A Star is Born".

Throughout the 1940's Dorothy continued writing prose and short stories along with screenplays. She was widely published in many magazines and Viking released an anthology of her short stories and prose. In 1949 she divorced Alan Campbell, but later they remarried.

In the 1950's she was called before the House on un-American Activities and pleaded the first instead of the fifth, still refusing to name any names. In 1952-1953 testimonywas given against her before the HUAC. From 1957-1963 she worked as a book reviewer for Esquire magazine. In 1959 she was inducted into American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was a distinguished Visiting Professor of English at California State College in L.A. In 1964 she published her final magazine piece in November's issue of Esquire.

On June 7, 1967, she was found dead of a heart attack in her room at Hotel Volney in New York City. She bequeathed her entire literary estate to the NAACP.



189 Poems written by Dorothy Parker

The poems are by default sorted according to volume, but you can also choose to sort them alphabetically or by page views.

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Death and Taxes

1. Prayer for a Prayer Comments and analysis of Prayer for a Prayer by Dorothy Parker 30 Comments
2. After Spanish Proverb Comments and analysis of After Spanish Proverb by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
3. The Danger of Writing Defiant Verse Comments and analysis of The Danger of Writing Defiant Verse by Dorothy Parker 25 Comments
4. Distance Comments and analysis of Distance by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
5. Sanctuary Comments and analysis of Sanctuary by Dorothy Parker 17 Comments
6. The Evening Primrose Comments and analysis of The Evening Primrose by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
7. The Flaw in Paganism Comments and analysis of The Flaw in Paganism by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
8. Salome's Dancing-Lesson
9. Cherry White Comments and analysis of Cherry White by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
10. My Own Comments and analysis of My Own by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
11. Solace Comments and analysis of Solace by Dorothy Parker 29 Comments
12. Little Words Comments and analysis of Little Words by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
13. Tombstones in the Starlight Comments and analysis of Tombstones in the Starlight by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
14. Garden-Spot
15. Ornithology for Beginners Comments and analysis of Ornithology for Beginners by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
16. Vers Demode
17. The Little Old Lady in Lavender Silk
18. Sonnet for the End of a Sequence Comments and analysis of Sonnet for the End of a Sequence by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
19. The Apple Tree
20. Iseult of Brittany
21. "Star Light, Star Bright-" Comments and analysis of 49 Comments
22. The Sea Comments and analysis of The Sea by Dorothy Parker 21 Comments
23. Guinevere at Her Fireside Comments and analysis of Guinevere at Her Fireside by Dorothy Parker 204 Comments
24. Transition
25. Lines on Reading Too Many Poets Comments and analysis of Lines on Reading Too Many Poets by Dorothy Parker 11 Comments
26. From a Letter from Lesbia
27. Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song Comments and analysis of Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song by Dorothy Parker 211 Comments
28. Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals Comments and analysis of Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
29. Sweet Violets Comments and analysis of Sweet Violets by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
30. Prayer for a New Mother Comments and analysis of Prayer for a New Mother by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
31. Midnight Comments and analysis of Midnight by Dorothy Parker 16 Comments
32. Ninon de Lenclos, on Her Last Birthday Comments and analysis of Ninon de Lenclos, on Her Last Birthday by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
33. Ultimatum Comments and analysis of Ultimatum by Dorothy Parker 11 Comments
34. The Willow
35. Summary Comments and analysis of Summary by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
36. Of a Woman, Dead Young
37. Sonnet on an Alpine Night Comments and analysis of Sonnet on an Alpine Night by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
38. Requiescat Comments and analysis of Requiescat by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
39. Ballade of a Talked-off Ear
40. Prologue to a Saga
41. Sight
42. Prisoner
43. The Lady's Reward Comments and analysis of The Lady's Reward by Dorothy Parker 34 Comments
44. Temps Perdu Comments and analysis of Temps Perdu by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
45. Autumn Valentine Comments and analysis of Autumn Valentine by Dorothy Parker 30 Comments

Enough Rope

1. Threnody Comments and analysis of Threnody by Dorothy Parker 241 Comments
2. The Small Hours Comments and analysis of The Small Hours by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
3. The False Friends Comments and analysis of The False Friends by Dorothy Parker 71 Comments
4. The Trifler Comments and analysis of The Trifler by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5. A Very Short Song Comments and analysis of A Very Short Song by Dorothy Parker 260 Comments
6. A Well-Worn Story
7. Convalescent Comments and analysis of Convalescent by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
8. The Dark Girl's Rhyme Comments and analysis of The Dark Girl's Rhyme by Dorothy Parker 40 Comments
9. Epitaph Comments and analysis of Epitaph by Dorothy Parker 211 Comments
10. Light of Love Comments and analysis of Light of Love by Dorothy Parker 17 Comments
11. Wail
12. The Satin Dress Comments and analysis of The Satin Dress by Dorothy Parker 39 Comments
13. Somebody's Song Comments and analysis of Somebody's Song by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
14. Braggart
15. Epitaph for a Darling Lady
16. To a Much Too Unfortunate Lady Comments and analysis of To a Much Too Unfortunate Lady by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
17. Paths Comments and analysis of Paths by Dorothy Parker 196 Comments
18. Hearthside
19. Rainy Night Comments and analysis of Rainy Night by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
20. The New Love Comments and analysis of The New Love by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
21. Anecdote Comments and analysis of Anecdote by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
22. For a Sad Lady
23. Recurrence
24. Story of Mrs. W-
25. The Dramatists
26. August Comments and analysis of August by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
27. The White Lady
28. I Know I Have Been Happiest Comments and analysis of I Know I Have Been Happiest by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
29. Testament
30. I Shall Come Back Comments and analysis of I Shall Come Back by Dorothy Parker 202 Comments
31. Condolence Comments and analysis of Condolence by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
32. The Immortals
33. A Portrait
34. Portrait of the Artist Comments and analysis of Portrait of the Artist by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
35. Chant for Dark Hours Comments and analysis of Chant for Dark Hours by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
36. Unfortunate Coincidence Comments and analysis of Unfortunate Coincidence by Dorothy Parker 50 Comments
37. Comment Comments and analysis of Comment by Dorothy Parker 13 Comments
38. Inventory Comments and analysis of Inventory by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
39. Now at Liberty Comments and analysis of Now at Liberty by Dorothy Parker 11 Comments
40. Plea
41. Pattern
42. De Profundis Comments and analysis of De Profundis by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
43. Resume Comments and analysis of Resume by Dorothy Parker 276 Comments
44. They Part Comments and analysis of They Part by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
45. Ballade of a Great Weariness
46. Renunciation
47. The Veteran Comments and analysis of The Veteran by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
48. Verse for a Certain Dog Comments and analysis of Verse for a Certain Dog by Dorothy Parker 36 Comments
49. Prophetic Soul
50. Godspeed Comments and analysis of Godspeed by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
51. Song of Perfect Propriety
52. Social Note
53. One Perfect Rose Comments and analysis of One Perfect Rose by Dorothy Parker 302 Comments
54. Ballade at Thirty-Five Comments and analysis of Ballade at Thirty-Five by Dorothy Parker 26 Comments
55. The Thin Edge
56. Love Song Comments and analysis of Love Song by Dorothy Parker 38 Comments
57. Indian Summer Comments and analysis of Indian Summer by Dorothy Parker 36 Comments
58. Philosophy Comments and analysis of Philosophy by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
59. For an Unknown Lady
60. The Leal Comments and analysis of The Leal by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
61. Words of Comfort to Be Scratched on a Mirror
62. Faute de Mieux Comments and analysis of Faute de Mieux by Dorothy Parker 23 Comments
63. Men Comments and analysis of Men by Dorothy Parker 233 Comments
64. News Item Comments and analysis of News Item by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
65. Song of One of the Girls
66. Lullaby Comments and analysis of Lullaby by Dorothy Parker 38 Comments
67. Roundel
68. A Certain Lady
69. Observation Comments and analysis of Observation by Dorothy Parker 416 Comments
70. Symptom Recital Comments and analysis of Symptom Recital by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
71. Rondeau Redouble Comments and analysis of Rondeau Redouble by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
72. Fighting Words
73. Autobiography
74. The Choice Comments and analysis of The Choice by Dorothy Parker 42 Comments
75. General Review of the Sex Situation Comments and analysis of General Review of the Sex Situation by Dorothy Parker 644 Comments
76. Pictures in the Smoke
77. Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom Comments and analysis of Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom by Dorothy Parker 34 Comments
78. Nocturne
79. Interview Comments and analysis of Interview by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
80. Experience Comments and analysis of Experience by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
81. Neither Bloody nor Bowed Comments and analysis of Neither Bloody nor Bowed by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
82. The Burned Child

Sunset Gun

1. Godmother Comments and analysis of Godmother by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
2. The Red Dress Comments and analysis of The Red Dress by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
3. Victoria
4. To Newcastle
5. Parable for a Certain Virgin Comments and analysis of Parable for a Certain Virgin by Dorothy Parker 22 Comments
6. Bric-a-Brac Comments and analysis of Bric-a-Brac by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
7. Interior Comments and analysis of Interior by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
8. Reuben's Children Comments and analysis of Reuben's Children by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
9. On Cheating the Fiddler Comments and analysis of On Cheating the Fiddler by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
10. There Was One Comments and analysis of There Was One by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
11. Incurable Comments and analysis of Incurable by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
12. The Second Oldest Story
13. Partial Comfort Comments and analysis of Partial Comfort by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
14. Fable
15. A Pig's-Eye View of Literature
16. Oscar Wilde
17. Harriet Beecher Stowe
18. D. G. Rossetti
19. Thomas Carlyle
20. Charles Dickens Comments and analysis of Charles Dickens by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
21. Alexandre Dumas and His Son Comments and analysis of Alexandre Dumas and His Son by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
22. Alfred, Lord Tennyson Comments and analysis of Alfred, Lord Tennyson by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
23. George Gissing Comments and analysis of George Gissing by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
24. Walter Savage Landor Comments and analysis of Walter Savage Landor by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
25. George Sand
26. Mortal Enemy Comments and analysis of Mortal Enemy by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
27. Penelope Comments and analysis of Penelope by Dorothy Parker 246 Comments
28. Bohemia
29. The Searched Soul Comments and analysis of The Searched Soul by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
30. The Trusting Heart Comments and analysis of The Trusting Heart by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
31. The Gentlest Lady Comments and analysis of The Gentlest Lady by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
32. The Maid-Servant at the Inn Comments and analysis of The Maid-Servant at the Inn by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
33. Fulfillment
34. Daylight Saving Comments and analysis of Daylight Saving by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
35. Thought for a Sunshiny Morning
36. Surprise Comments and analysis of Surprise by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
37. On Being a Woman Comments and analysis of On Being a Woman by Dorothy Parker 26 Comments
38. Afternoon Comments and analysis of Afternoon by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
39. A Dream Lies Dead
40. The Homebody Comments and analysis of The Homebody by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
41. Second Love
42. Fair Weather
43. The Whistling Girl Comments and analysis of The Whistling Girl by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
44. Story
45. Frustration Comments and analysis of Frustration by Dorothy Parker 230 Comments
46. Healed Comments and analysis of Healed by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
47. Post-Graduate Comments and analysis of Post-Graduate by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
48. Landscape Comments and analysis of Landscape by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
49. For a Favorite Granddaughter
50. Liebestod
51. Dilemma Comments and analysis of Dilemma by Dorothy Parker 239 Comments
52. Theory
53. Superfluous Advice Comments and analysis of Superfluous Advice by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
54. A Fairly Sad Tale
55. The Last Question Comments and analysis of The Last Question by Dorothy Parker 222 Comments
56. But Not Forgotten Comments and analysis of But Not Forgotten by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
57. Pour Prendre Conge
58. For a Lady Who Must Write Verse
59. Two-Volume Novel Comments and analysis of Two-Volume Novel by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
60. Rhyme Against Living Comments and analysis of Rhyme Against Living by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
61. Wisdom Comments and analysis of Wisdom by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
62. Coda Comments and analysis of Coda by Dorothy Parker 221 Comments


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