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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.

Volume | Alphabetically | [Page Views] | Comments | First Lines


Page ViewsPoemComments
24261 Resume Comments and analysis of Resume by Dorothy Parker 287 Comments
19480 One Perfect Rose Comments and analysis of One Perfect Rose by Dorothy Parker 314 Comments
17734 Unfortunate Coincidence Comments and analysis of Unfortunate Coincidence by Dorothy Parker 52 Comments
16888 "Star Light, Star Bright-" Comments and analysis of 52 Comments
16131 On Being a Woman Comments and analysis of On Being a Woman by Dorothy Parker 28 Comments
15633 My Own Comments and analysis of My Own by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
15562 Godmother Comments and analysis of Godmother by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
15541 The False Friends Comments and analysis of The False Friends by Dorothy Parker 75 Comments
15138 Little Words Comments and analysis of Little Words by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
14794 The Danger of Writing Defiant Verse Comments and analysis of The Danger of Writing Defiant Verse by Dorothy Parker 26 Comments
14516 Condolence Comments and analysis of Condolence by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
13404 After Spanish Proverb Comments and analysis of After Spanish Proverb by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
12991 For a Favorite Granddaughter
12404 Fighting Words
12334 The Flaw in Paganism Comments and analysis of The Flaw in Paganism by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
12169 Penelope Comments and analysis of Penelope by Dorothy Parker 253 Comments
11715 Cherry White Comments and analysis of Cherry White by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
11529 Sanctuary Comments and analysis of Sanctuary by Dorothy Parker 19 Comments
11419 The Choice Comments and analysis of The Choice by Dorothy Parker 47 Comments
11346 Autumn Valentine Comments and analysis of Autumn Valentine by Dorothy Parker 30 Comments
11243 Epitaph Comments and analysis of Epitaph by Dorothy Parker 216 Comments
11031 Rhyme Against Living Comments and analysis of Rhyme Against Living by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
10893 Sweet Violets Comments and analysis of Sweet Violets by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
10712 The Dark Girl's Rhyme Comments and analysis of The Dark Girl's Rhyme by Dorothy Parker 43 Comments
10605 A Very Short Song Comments and analysis of A Very Short Song by Dorothy Parker 270 Comments
10524 The Little Old Lady in Lavender Silk
10470 Love Song Comments and analysis of Love Song by Dorothy Parker 39 Comments
10353 The Satin Dress Comments and analysis of The Satin Dress by Dorothy Parker 40 Comments
10190 The Sea Comments and analysis of The Sea by Dorothy Parker 22 Comments
10126 The Apple Tree
10057 Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song Comments and analysis of Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song by Dorothy Parker 212 Comments
10035 Indian Summer Comments and analysis of Indian Summer by Dorothy Parker 37 Comments
10009 A Dream Lies Dead
9965 The Red Dress Comments and analysis of The Red Dress by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
9844 Midnight Comments and analysis of Midnight by Dorothy Parker 16 Comments
9664 The Trusting Heart Comments and analysis of The Trusting Heart by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
9619 Lines on Reading Too Many Poets Comments and analysis of Lines on Reading Too Many Poets by Dorothy Parker 13 Comments
9225 A Certain Lady
9208 The Lady's Reward Comments and analysis of The Lady's Reward by Dorothy Parker 35 Comments
9200 Salome's Dancing-Lesson
8828 Summary Comments and analysis of Summary by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
8809 A Fairly Sad Tale
8746 Of a Woman, Dead Young
8520 Rainy Night Comments and analysis of Rainy Night by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
8446 Faute de Mieux Comments and analysis of Faute de Mieux by Dorothy Parker 25 Comments
8358 Sonnet on an Alpine Night Comments and analysis of Sonnet on an Alpine Night by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
8349 The Last Question Comments and analysis of The Last Question by Dorothy Parker 228 Comments
8183 From a Letter from Lesbia
8165 Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom Comments and analysis of Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom by Dorothy Parker 37 Comments
8084 Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals Comments and analysis of Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
8051 Symptom Recital Comments and analysis of Symptom Recital by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
7760 Guinevere at Her Fireside Comments and analysis of Guinevere at Her Fireside by Dorothy Parker 204 Comments
7742 Ornithology for Beginners Comments and analysis of Ornithology for Beginners by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
7665 Parable for a Certain Virgin Comments and analysis of Parable for a Certain Virgin by Dorothy Parker 24 Comments
7530 Somebody's Song Comments and analysis of Somebody's Song by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
7481 Prisoner
7369 The Small Hours Comments and analysis of The Small Hours by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
7358 Post-Graduate Comments and analysis of Post-Graduate by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
7235 A Pig's-Eye View of Literature
7203 The New Love Comments and analysis of The New Love by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
7174 A Well-Worn Story
7164 But Not Forgotten Comments and analysis of But Not Forgotten by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
7090 Mortal Enemy Comments and analysis of Mortal Enemy by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
7085 For a Sad Lady
7079 August Comments and analysis of August by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
7030 Sonnet for the End of a Sequence Comments and analysis of Sonnet for the End of a Sequence by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
6895 The Willow
6764 Ballade of a Talked-off Ear
6761 Epitaph for a Darling Lady
6675 Song of One of the Girls
6674 Philosophy Comments and analysis of Philosophy by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
6631 Ninon de Lenclos, on Her Last Birthday Comments and analysis of Ninon de Lenclos, on Her Last Birthday by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
6537 Garden-Spot
6447 Inventory Comments and analysis of Inventory by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
6351 Autobiography
6344 On Cheating the Fiddler Comments and analysis of On Cheating the Fiddler by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
6284 The Whistling Girl Comments and analysis of The Whistling Girl by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
6271 Chant for Dark Hours Comments and analysis of Chant for Dark Hours by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
6266 De Profundis Comments and analysis of De Profundis by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
6212 Ballade at Thirty-Five Comments and analysis of Ballade at Thirty-Five by Dorothy Parker 27 Comments
6168 A Portrait
6093 Observation Comments and analysis of Observation by Dorothy Parker 418 Comments
6068 Braggart
6054 Bric-a-Brac Comments and analysis of Bric-a-Brac by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
6038 Paths Comments and analysis of Paths by Dorothy Parker 199 Comments
5987 Charles Dickens Comments and analysis of Charles Dickens by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
5955 Experience Comments and analysis of Experience by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
5846 Sight
5834 Oscar Wilde Comments and analysis of Oscar Wilde by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5797 Godspeed Comments and analysis of Godspeed by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5716 Song of Perfect Propriety
5687 Fulfillment
5675 Ballade of a Great Weariness
5603 Interview Comments and analysis of Interview by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
5591 Afternoon Comments and analysis of Afternoon by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
5581 The Maid-Servant at the Inn Comments and analysis of The Maid-Servant at the Inn by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
5563 News Item Comments and analysis of News Item by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
5552 Anecdote Comments and analysis of Anecdote by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
5536 Incurable Comments and analysis of Incurable by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
5485 Healed Comments and analysis of Healed by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
5479 Portrait of the Artist Comments and analysis of Portrait of the Artist by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
5435 Nocturne
5416 Alfred, Lord Tennyson Comments and analysis of Alfred, Lord Tennyson by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
5411 The White Lady
5401 They Part Comments and analysis of They Part by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
5400 The Leal Comments and analysis of The Leal by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
5380 Landscape Comments and analysis of Landscape by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5368 Neither Bloody nor Bowed Comments and analysis of Neither Bloody nor Bowed by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
5325 Now at Liberty Comments and analysis of Now at Liberty by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
5304 Theory
5246 Temps Perdu Comments and analysis of Temps Perdu by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5213 Two-Volume Novel Comments and analysis of Two-Volume Novel by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
5159 Iseult of Brittany
5083 Plea
5066 Wail
5052 Requiescat Comments and analysis of Requiescat by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
4972 Walter Savage Landor Comments and analysis of Walter Savage Landor by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
4965 Fable
4920 Liebestod
4859 Convalescent Comments and analysis of Convalescent by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
4810 The Searched Soul Comments and analysis of The Searched Soul by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
4788 Pictures in the Smoke
4764 Victoria Comments and analysis of Victoria by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
4747 Story
4705 The Second Oldest Story
4690 Testament
4665 For a Lady Who Must Write Verse
4652 Interior Comments and analysis of Interior by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
4647 Rondeau Redouble Comments and analysis of Rondeau Redouble by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
4635 Recurrence
4534 Prophetic Soul
4465 D. G. Rossetti
4397 The Dramatists
4393 The Homebody Comments and analysis of The Homebody by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
4366 Prologue to a Saga
4358 Pattern
4341 The Thin Edge
4321 The Immortals
4309 Roundel
4206 George Sand
4184 Renunciation
4169 Pour Prendre Conge
4018 Harriet Beecher Stowe
3999 Alexandre Dumas and His Son Comments and analysis of Alexandre Dumas and His Son by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
3907 Thomas Carlyle
3810 To Newcastle
3751 Story of Mrs. W-
3400 George Gissing Comments and analysis of George Gissing by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
1215 General Review of the Sex Situation Comments and analysis of General Review of the Sex Situation by Dorothy Parker 668 Comments
881 Prayer for a Prayer Comments and analysis of Prayer for a Prayer by Dorothy Parker 33 Comments
711 Solace Comments and analysis of Solace by Dorothy Parker 29 Comments
606 Coda Comments and analysis of Coda by Dorothy Parker 228 Comments
582 Frustration Comments and analysis of Frustration by Dorothy Parker 233 Comments
547 Comment Comments and analysis of Comment by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
545 Verse for a Certain Dog Comments and analysis of Verse for a Certain Dog by Dorothy Parker 36 Comments
542 Distance Comments and analysis of Distance by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
533 Prayer for a New Mother Comments and analysis of Prayer for a New Mother by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
532 Light of Love Comments and analysis of Light of Love by Dorothy Parker 18 Comments
518 Dilemma Comments and analysis of Dilemma by Dorothy Parker 243 Comments
517 Tombstones in the Starlight Comments and analysis of Tombstones in the Starlight by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
514 Lullaby Comments and analysis of Lullaby by Dorothy Parker 40 Comments
505 Bohemia
504 The Evening Primrose Comments and analysis of The Evening Primrose by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
500 Social Note
457 Thought for a Sunshiny Morning
435 Transition
430 Hearthside
393 Wisdom Comments and analysis of Wisdom by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
379 Vers Demode
378 For an Unknown Lady
373 Surprise Comments and analysis of Surprise by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
361 Reuben's Children Comments and analysis of Reuben's Children by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
356 The Gentlest Lady Comments and analysis of The Gentlest Lady by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
350 Daylight Saving Comments and analysis of Daylight Saving by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
289 There Was One Comments and analysis of There Was One by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
203 Threnody Comments and analysis of Threnody by Dorothy Parker 247 Comments
189 I Shall Come Back Comments and analysis of I Shall Come Back by Dorothy Parker 204 Comments
178 I Know I Have Been Happiest Comments and analysis of I Know I Have Been Happiest by Dorothy Parker 16 Comments
176 Ultimatum Comments and analysis of Ultimatum by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
156 Men Comments and analysis of Men by Dorothy Parker 235 Comments
153 The Burned Child
150 Fair Weather
149 The Trifler Comments and analysis of The Trifler by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
136 Words of Comfort to Be Scratched on a Mirror
128 Second Love
117 Superfluous Advice Comments and analysis of Superfluous Advice by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
116 The Veteran Comments and analysis of The Veteran by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
104 Partial Comfort Comments and analysis of Partial Comfort by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
93 To a Much Too Unfortunate Lady Comments and analysis of To a Much Too Unfortunate Lady by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments


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