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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
24134 Resume Comments and analysis of Resume by Dorothy Parker 284 Comments
19373 One Perfect Rose Comments and analysis of One Perfect Rose by Dorothy Parker 311 Comments
17622 Unfortunate Coincidence Comments and analysis of Unfortunate Coincidence by Dorothy Parker 52 Comments
16799 "Star Light, Star Bright-" Comments and analysis of 51 Comments
16049 On Being a Woman Comments and analysis of On Being a Woman by Dorothy Parker 28 Comments
15559 My Own Comments and analysis of My Own by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
15494 Godmother Comments and analysis of Godmother by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
15454 The False Friends Comments and analysis of The False Friends by Dorothy Parker 73 Comments
15005 Little Words Comments and analysis of Little Words by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
14717 The Danger of Writing Defiant Verse Comments and analysis of The Danger of Writing Defiant Verse by Dorothy Parker 26 Comments
14402 Condolence Comments and analysis of Condolence by Dorothy Parker 11 Comments
13293 After Spanish Proverb Comments and analysis of After Spanish Proverb by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
12922 For a Favorite Granddaughter
12297 Fighting Words
12217 The Flaw in Paganism Comments and analysis of The Flaw in Paganism by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
12040 Penelope Comments and analysis of Penelope by Dorothy Parker 250 Comments
11641 Cherry White Comments and analysis of Cherry White by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
11457 Sanctuary Comments and analysis of Sanctuary by Dorothy Parker 18 Comments
11351 The Choice Comments and analysis of The Choice by Dorothy Parker 46 Comments
11260 Autumn Valentine Comments and analysis of Autumn Valentine by Dorothy Parker 30 Comments
11176 Epitaph Comments and analysis of Epitaph by Dorothy Parker 215 Comments
10941 Rhyme Against Living Comments and analysis of Rhyme Against Living by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
10818 Sweet Violets Comments and analysis of Sweet Violets by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
10633 The Dark Girl's Rhyme Comments and analysis of The Dark Girl's Rhyme by Dorothy Parker 43 Comments
10487 A Very Short Song Comments and analysis of A Very Short Song by Dorothy Parker 262 Comments
10410 The Little Old Lady in Lavender Silk
10407 Love Song Comments and analysis of Love Song by Dorothy Parker 38 Comments
10278 The Satin Dress Comments and analysis of The Satin Dress by Dorothy Parker 40 Comments
10116 The Sea Comments and analysis of The Sea by Dorothy Parker 21 Comments
10017 The Apple Tree
9905 Indian Summer Comments and analysis of Indian Summer by Dorothy Parker 37 Comments
9852 A Dream Lies Dead
9756 The Red Dress Comments and analysis of The Red Dress by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
9754 Midnight Comments and analysis of Midnight by Dorothy Parker 16 Comments
9602 The Trusting Heart Comments and analysis of The Trusting Heart by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
9521 Lines on Reading Too Many Poets Comments and analysis of Lines on Reading Too Many Poets by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
9134 Salome's Dancing-Lesson
9122 A Certain Lady
9053 The Lady's Reward Comments and analysis of The Lady's Reward by Dorothy Parker 35 Comments
8987 Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song Comments and analysis of Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song by Dorothy Parker 212 Comments
8749 Summary Comments and analysis of Summary by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
8698 A Fairly Sad Tale
8695 Of a Woman, Dead Young
8436 Rainy Night Comments and analysis of Rainy Night by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
8343 Faute de Mieux Comments and analysis of Faute de Mieux by Dorothy Parker 25 Comments
8256 The Last Question Comments and analysis of The Last Question by Dorothy Parker 224 Comments
8131 From a Letter from Lesbia
8089 Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom Comments and analysis of Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom by Dorothy Parker 36 Comments
7999 Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals Comments and analysis of Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
7941 Symptom Recital Comments and analysis of Symptom Recital by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
7675 Guinevere at Her Fireside Comments and analysis of Guinevere at Her Fireside by Dorothy Parker 204 Comments
7629 Ornithology for Beginners Comments and analysis of Ornithology for Beginners by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
7580 Parable for a Certain Virgin Comments and analysis of Parable for a Certain Virgin by Dorothy Parker 23 Comments
7446 Somebody's Song Comments and analysis of Somebody's Song by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
7418 Prisoner
7301 Post-Graduate Comments and analysis of Post-Graduate by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
7295 The Small Hours Comments and analysis of The Small Hours by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
7161 A Pig's-Eye View of Literature
7147 The New Love Comments and analysis of The New Love by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
7084 But Not Forgotten Comments and analysis of But Not Forgotten by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
7034 A Well-Worn Story
7020 For a Sad Lady
7007 Mortal Enemy Comments and analysis of Mortal Enemy by Dorothy Parker 11 Comments
7005 August Comments and analysis of August by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
6939 Sonnet for the End of a Sequence Comments and analysis of Sonnet for the End of a Sequence by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
6825 The Willow
6679 Epitaph for a Darling Lady
6677 Ballade of a Talked-off Ear
6618 Philosophy Comments and analysis of Philosophy by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
6593 Song of One of the Girls
6523 Ninon de Lenclos, on Her Last Birthday Comments and analysis of Ninon de Lenclos, on Her Last Birthday by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
6477 Garden-Spot
6375 Inventory Comments and analysis of Inventory by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
6285 Autobiography
6269 On Cheating the Fiddler Comments and analysis of On Cheating the Fiddler by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
6217 Chant for Dark Hours Comments and analysis of Chant for Dark Hours by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
6202 De Profundis Comments and analysis of De Profundis by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
6201 The Whistling Girl Comments and analysis of The Whistling Girl by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
6141 Ballade at Thirty-Five Comments and analysis of Ballade at Thirty-Five by Dorothy Parker 27 Comments
6100 A Portrait
6021 Observation Comments and analysis of Observation by Dorothy Parker 417 Comments
5988 Bric-a-Brac Comments and analysis of Bric-a-Brac by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
5986 Paths Comments and analysis of Paths by Dorothy Parker 198 Comments
5955 Braggart
5901 Charles Dickens Comments and analysis of Charles Dickens by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
5886 Experience Comments and analysis of Experience by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
5779 Sight
5763 Oscar Wilde Comments and analysis of Oscar Wilde by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5726 Godspeed Comments and analysis of Godspeed by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5626 Fulfillment
5598 Ballade of a Great Weariness
5581 Song of Perfect Propriety
5526 Interview Comments and analysis of Interview by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
5495 Anecdote Comments and analysis of Anecdote by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
5485 Afternoon Comments and analysis of Afternoon by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
5484 The Maid-Servant at the Inn Comments and analysis of The Maid-Servant at the Inn by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
5479 News Item Comments and analysis of News Item by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
5472 Incurable Comments and analysis of Incurable by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
5428 Healed Comments and analysis of Healed by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
5415 Portrait of the Artist Comments and analysis of Portrait of the Artist by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
5368 Alfred, Lord Tennyson Comments and analysis of Alfred, Lord Tennyson by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
5365 Sonnet on an Alpine Night Comments and analysis of Sonnet on an Alpine Night by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
5360 Nocturne
5352 The White Lady
5347 The Leal Comments and analysis of The Leal by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
5324 They Part Comments and analysis of They Part by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
5314 Landscape Comments and analysis of Landscape by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5297 Neither Bloody nor Bowed Comments and analysis of Neither Bloody nor Bowed by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
5248 Now at Liberty Comments and analysis of Now at Liberty by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
5187 Temps Perdu Comments and analysis of Temps Perdu by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5164 Two-Volume Novel Comments and analysis of Two-Volume Novel by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
5149 Theory
5085 Iseult of Brittany
5024 Plea
5014 Requiescat Comments and analysis of Requiescat by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
5005 Wail
4935 Walter Savage Landor Comments and analysis of Walter Savage Landor by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
4895 Fable
4855 Liebestod
4799 Convalescent Comments and analysis of Convalescent by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
4741 The Searched Soul Comments and analysis of The Searched Soul by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
4709 Victoria Comments and analysis of Victoria by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
4708 Pictures in the Smoke
4698 Story
4651 The Second Oldest Story
4626 Testament
4588 Interior Comments and analysis of Interior by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
4580 For a Lady Who Must Write Verse
4580 Recurrence
4574 Rondeau Redouble Comments and analysis of Rondeau Redouble by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
4473 Prophetic Soul
4421 D. G. Rossetti
4339 The Dramatists
4335 The Homebody Comments and analysis of The Homebody by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
4312 Pattern
4303 Prologue to a Saga
4270 The Immortals
4249 The Thin Edge
4224 Roundel
4119 George Sand
4116 Renunciation
4081 Pour Prendre Conge
3963 Harriet Beecher Stowe
3957 Alexandre Dumas and His Son Comments and analysis of Alexandre Dumas and His Son by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
3847 Thomas Carlyle
3745 To Newcastle
3699 Story of Mrs. W-
3338 George Gissing Comments and analysis of George Gissing by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
1007 General Review of the Sex Situation Comments and analysis of General Review of the Sex Situation by Dorothy Parker 652 Comments
793 Prayer for a Prayer Comments and analysis of Prayer for a Prayer by Dorothy Parker 32 Comments
623 Solace Comments and analysis of Solace by Dorothy Parker 29 Comments
529 Coda Comments and analysis of Coda by Dorothy Parker 223 Comments
526 Frustration Comments and analysis of Frustration by Dorothy Parker 232 Comments
473 Light of Love Comments and analysis of Light of Love by Dorothy Parker 18 Comments
469 Prayer for a New Mother Comments and analysis of Prayer for a New Mother by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
466 Verse for a Certain Dog Comments and analysis of Verse for a Certain Dog by Dorothy Parker 36 Comments
457 Distance Comments and analysis of Distance by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
439 Comment Comments and analysis of Comment by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
438 Tombstones in the Starlight Comments and analysis of Tombstones in the Starlight by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
438 Lullaby Comments and analysis of Lullaby by Dorothy Parker 40 Comments
435 Bohemia
428 Social Note
424 The Evening Primrose Comments and analysis of The Evening Primrose by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
416 Dilemma Comments and analysis of Dilemma by Dorothy Parker 242 Comments
361 Transition
360 Thought for a Sunshiny Morning
350 Hearthside
345 Wisdom Comments and analysis of Wisdom by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
317 Vers Demode
311 For an Unknown Lady
308 Surprise Comments and analysis of Surprise by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
303 The Gentlest Lady Comments and analysis of The Gentlest Lady by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
300 Reuben's Children Comments and analysis of Reuben's Children by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
293 Daylight Saving Comments and analysis of Daylight Saving by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
246 There Was One Comments and analysis of There Was One by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
96 Threnody Comments and analysis of Threnody by Dorothy Parker 241 Comments
86 I Shall Come Back Comments and analysis of I Shall Come Back by Dorothy Parker 204 Comments
81 I Know I Have Been Happiest Comments and analysis of I Know I Have Been Happiest by Dorothy Parker 16 Comments
73 Men Comments and analysis of Men by Dorothy Parker 234 Comments
72 The Burned Child
62 The Trifler Comments and analysis of The Trifler by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
58 Second Love
58 Words of Comfort to Be Scratched on a Mirror
55 Fair Weather
54 Superfluous Advice Comments and analysis of Superfluous Advice by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
50 Partial Comfort Comments and analysis of Partial Comfort by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
47 Ultimatum Comments and analysis of Ultimatum by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
42 To a Much Too Unfortunate Lady Comments and analysis of To a Much Too Unfortunate Lady by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
28 The Veteran Comments and analysis of The Veteran by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments


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