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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
24167 Resume Comments and analysis of Resume by Dorothy Parker 284 Comments
19402 One Perfect Rose Comments and analysis of One Perfect Rose by Dorothy Parker 311 Comments
17650 Unfortunate Coincidence Comments and analysis of Unfortunate Coincidence by Dorothy Parker 52 Comments
16821 "Star Light, Star Bright-" Comments and analysis of 51 Comments
16071 On Being a Woman Comments and analysis of On Being a Woman by Dorothy Parker 28 Comments
15582 My Own Comments and analysis of My Own by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
15512 Godmother Comments and analysis of Godmother by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
15472 The False Friends Comments and analysis of The False Friends by Dorothy Parker 73 Comments
15039 Little Words Comments and analysis of Little Words by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
14736 The Danger of Writing Defiant Verse Comments and analysis of The Danger of Writing Defiant Verse by Dorothy Parker 26 Comments
14431 Condolence Comments and analysis of Condolence by Dorothy Parker 11 Comments
13332 After Spanish Proverb Comments and analysis of After Spanish Proverb by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
12938 For a Favorite Granddaughter
12323 Fighting Words
12245 The Flaw in Paganism Comments and analysis of The Flaw in Paganism by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
12082 Penelope Comments and analysis of Penelope by Dorothy Parker 250 Comments
11656 Cherry White Comments and analysis of Cherry White by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
11474 Sanctuary Comments and analysis of Sanctuary by Dorothy Parker 18 Comments
11367 The Choice Comments and analysis of The Choice by Dorothy Parker 46 Comments
11280 Autumn Valentine Comments and analysis of Autumn Valentine by Dorothy Parker 30 Comments
11192 Epitaph Comments and analysis of Epitaph by Dorothy Parker 215 Comments
10966 Rhyme Against Living Comments and analysis of Rhyme Against Living by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
10837 Sweet Violets Comments and analysis of Sweet Violets by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
10662 The Dark Girl's Rhyme Comments and analysis of The Dark Girl's Rhyme by Dorothy Parker 43 Comments
10518 A Very Short Song Comments and analysis of A Very Short Song by Dorothy Parker 263 Comments
10434 The Little Old Lady in Lavender Silk
10421 Love Song Comments and analysis of Love Song by Dorothy Parker 38 Comments
10292 The Satin Dress Comments and analysis of The Satin Dress by Dorothy Parker 40 Comments
10135 The Sea Comments and analysis of The Sea by Dorothy Parker 21 Comments
10045 The Apple Tree
9941 Indian Summer Comments and analysis of Indian Summer by Dorothy Parker 37 Comments
9890 A Dream Lies Dead
9785 The Red Dress Comments and analysis of The Red Dress by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
9771 Midnight Comments and analysis of Midnight by Dorothy Parker 16 Comments
9611 The Trusting Heart Comments and analysis of The Trusting Heart by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
9538 Lines on Reading Too Many Poets Comments and analysis of Lines on Reading Too Many Poets by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
9150 A Certain Lady
9148 Salome's Dancing-Lesson
9095 The Lady's Reward Comments and analysis of The Lady's Reward by Dorothy Parker 35 Comments
9023 Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song Comments and analysis of Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song by Dorothy Parker 212 Comments
8769 Summary Comments and analysis of Summary by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
8733 A Fairly Sad Tale
8705 Of a Woman, Dead Young
8456 Rainy Night Comments and analysis of Rainy Night by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
8364 Faute de Mieux Comments and analysis of Faute de Mieux by Dorothy Parker 25 Comments
8276 The Last Question Comments and analysis of The Last Question by Dorothy Parker 224 Comments
8141 From a Letter from Lesbia
8113 Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom Comments and analysis of Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom by Dorothy Parker 36 Comments
8020 Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals Comments and analysis of Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
7974 Symptom Recital Comments and analysis of Symptom Recital by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
7689 Guinevere at Her Fireside Comments and analysis of Guinevere at Her Fireside by Dorothy Parker 204 Comments
7654 Ornithology for Beginners Comments and analysis of Ornithology for Beginners by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
7602 Parable for a Certain Virgin Comments and analysis of Parable for a Certain Virgin by Dorothy Parker 23 Comments
7457 Somebody's Song Comments and analysis of Somebody's Song by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
7435 Prisoner
7317 Post-Graduate Comments and analysis of Post-Graduate by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
7317 The Small Hours Comments and analysis of The Small Hours by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
7183 A Pig's-Eye View of Literature
7163 The New Love Comments and analysis of The New Love by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
7108 But Not Forgotten Comments and analysis of But Not Forgotten by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
7067 A Well-Worn Story
7034 For a Sad Lady
7027 Mortal Enemy Comments and analysis of Mortal Enemy by Dorothy Parker 11 Comments
7018 August Comments and analysis of August by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
6958 Sonnet for the End of a Sequence Comments and analysis of Sonnet for the End of a Sequence by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
6840 The Willow
6702 Ballade of a Talked-off Ear
6696 Epitaph for a Darling Lady
6631 Philosophy Comments and analysis of Philosophy by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
6606 Song of One of the Girls
6547 Ninon de Lenclos, on Her Last Birthday Comments and analysis of Ninon de Lenclos, on Her Last Birthday by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
6498 Garden-Spot
6388 Inventory Comments and analysis of Inventory by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
6302 Autobiography
6289 On Cheating the Fiddler Comments and analysis of On Cheating the Fiddler by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
6236 Chant for Dark Hours Comments and analysis of Chant for Dark Hours by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
6223 The Whistling Girl Comments and analysis of The Whistling Girl by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
6218 De Profundis Comments and analysis of De Profundis by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
6155 Ballade at Thirty-Five Comments and analysis of Ballade at Thirty-Five by Dorothy Parker 27 Comments
6118 A Portrait
6045 Observation Comments and analysis of Observation by Dorothy Parker 417 Comments
6006 Bric-a-Brac Comments and analysis of Bric-a-Brac by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
5997 Paths Comments and analysis of Paths by Dorothy Parker 198 Comments
5991 Braggart
5927 Charles Dickens Comments and analysis of Charles Dickens by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
5900 Experience Comments and analysis of Experience by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
5803 Sight
5781 Oscar Wilde Comments and analysis of Oscar Wilde by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5749 Godspeed Comments and analysis of Godspeed by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5643 Fulfillment
5629 Song of Perfect Propriety
5626 Ballade of a Great Weariness
5549 Interview Comments and analysis of Interview by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
5519 The Maid-Servant at the Inn Comments and analysis of The Maid-Servant at the Inn by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
5518 Afternoon Comments and analysis of Afternoon by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
5508 Anecdote Comments and analysis of Anecdote by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
5501 News Item Comments and analysis of News Item by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
5485 Incurable Comments and analysis of Incurable by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
5444 Healed Comments and analysis of Healed by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
5432 Portrait of the Artist Comments and analysis of Portrait of the Artist by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
5379 Alfred, Lord Tennyson Comments and analysis of Alfred, Lord Tennyson by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
5378 Nocturne
5377 Sonnet on an Alpine Night Comments and analysis of Sonnet on an Alpine Night by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
5364 The White Lady
5357 The Leal Comments and analysis of The Leal by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
5344 They Part Comments and analysis of They Part by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
5328 Landscape Comments and analysis of Landscape by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5312 Neither Bloody nor Bowed Comments and analysis of Neither Bloody nor Bowed by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
5270 Now at Liberty Comments and analysis of Now at Liberty by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
5202 Temps Perdu Comments and analysis of Temps Perdu by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5174 Two-Volume Novel Comments and analysis of Two-Volume Novel by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
5161 Theory
5105 Iseult of Brittany
5034 Plea
5024 Requiescat Comments and analysis of Requiescat by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
5020 Wail
4943 Walter Savage Landor Comments and analysis of Walter Savage Landor by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
4917 Fable
4865 Liebestod
4811 Convalescent Comments and analysis of Convalescent by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
4761 The Searched Soul Comments and analysis of The Searched Soul by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
4727 Pictures in the Smoke
4721 Victoria Comments and analysis of Victoria by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
4708 Story
4667 The Second Oldest Story
4650 Testament
4605 For a Lady Who Must Write Verse
4605 Interior Comments and analysis of Interior by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
4594 Recurrence
4590 Rondeau Redouble Comments and analysis of Rondeau Redouble by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
4489 Prophetic Soul
4432 D. G. Rossetti
4352 The Homebody Comments and analysis of The Homebody by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
4351 The Dramatists
4326 Pattern
4319 Prologue to a Saga
4288 The Immortals
4268 The Thin Edge
4244 Roundel
4137 George Sand
4135 Renunciation
4106 Pour Prendre Conge
3975 Harriet Beecher Stowe
3970 Alexandre Dumas and His Son Comments and analysis of Alexandre Dumas and His Son by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
3866 Thomas Carlyle
3759 To Newcastle
3712 Story of Mrs. W-
3353 George Gissing Comments and analysis of George Gissing by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
1057 General Review of the Sex Situation Comments and analysis of General Review of the Sex Situation by Dorothy Parker 652 Comments
823 Prayer for a Prayer Comments and analysis of Prayer for a Prayer by Dorothy Parker 32 Comments
652 Solace Comments and analysis of Solace by Dorothy Parker 29 Comments
545 Coda Comments and analysis of Coda by Dorothy Parker 223 Comments
542 Frustration Comments and analysis of Frustration by Dorothy Parker 232 Comments
486 Light of Love Comments and analysis of Light of Love by Dorothy Parker 18 Comments
483 Verse for a Certain Dog Comments and analysis of Verse for a Certain Dog by Dorothy Parker 36 Comments
480 Distance Comments and analysis of Distance by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
479 Prayer for a New Mother Comments and analysis of Prayer for a New Mother by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
464 Comment Comments and analysis of Comment by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
456 Bohemia
455 Tombstones in the Starlight Comments and analysis of Tombstones in the Starlight by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
453 Lullaby Comments and analysis of Lullaby by Dorothy Parker 40 Comments
448 The Evening Primrose Comments and analysis of The Evening Primrose by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
443 Social Note
442 Dilemma Comments and analysis of Dilemma by Dorothy Parker 243 Comments
384 Thought for a Sunshiny Morning
379 Hearthside
373 Transition
356 Wisdom Comments and analysis of Wisdom by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
331 Vers Demode
329 For an Unknown Lady
328 Surprise Comments and analysis of Surprise by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
320 Reuben's Children Comments and analysis of Reuben's Children by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
318 The Gentlest Lady Comments and analysis of The Gentlest Lady by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
305 Daylight Saving Comments and analysis of Daylight Saving by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
254 There Was One Comments and analysis of There Was One by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
120 Threnody Comments and analysis of Threnody by Dorothy Parker 241 Comments
113 I Shall Come Back Comments and analysis of I Shall Come Back by Dorothy Parker 204 Comments
106 I Know I Have Been Happiest Comments and analysis of I Know I Have Been Happiest by Dorothy Parker 16 Comments
97 The Burned Child
92 Men Comments and analysis of Men by Dorothy Parker 234 Comments
88 Fair Weather
76 Superfluous Advice Comments and analysis of Superfluous Advice by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
76 Second Love
76 Words of Comfort to Be Scratched on a Mirror
75 The Trifler Comments and analysis of The Trifler by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
66 Partial Comfort Comments and analysis of Partial Comfort by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
58 Ultimatum Comments and analysis of Ultimatum by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
58 To a Much Too Unfortunate Lady Comments and analysis of To a Much Too Unfortunate Lady by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
53 The Veteran Comments and analysis of The Veteran by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments


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