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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
25043 Resume Comments and analysis of Resume by Dorothy Parker 319 Comments
18515 Unfortunate Coincidence Comments and analysis of Unfortunate Coincidence by Dorothy Parker 56 Comments
17585 "Star Light, Star Bright-" Comments and analysis of 57 Comments
16330 My Own Comments and analysis of My Own by Dorothy Parker 15 Comments
16239 The False Friends Comments and analysis of The False Friends by Dorothy Parker 83 Comments
16187 Godmother Comments and analysis of Godmother by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
15912 Little Words Comments and analysis of Little Words by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
13556 For a Favorite Granddaughter
13068 Fighting Words
12966 Penelope Comments and analysis of Penelope by Dorothy Parker 269 Comments
12102 Sanctuary Comments and analysis of Sanctuary by Dorothy Parker 27 Comments
12088 The Choice Comments and analysis of The Choice by Dorothy Parker 54 Comments
12006 Autumn Valentine Comments and analysis of Autumn Valentine by Dorothy Parker 42 Comments
11848 Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song Comments and analysis of Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song by Dorothy Parker 230 Comments
11755 Epitaph Comments and analysis of Epitaph by Dorothy Parker 222 Comments
11616 Rhyme Against Living Comments and analysis of Rhyme Against Living by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
11485 Sweet Violets Comments and analysis of Sweet Violets by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
11430 A Very Short Song Comments and analysis of A Very Short Song by Dorothy Parker 306 Comments
11301 The Dark Girl's Rhyme Comments and analysis of The Dark Girl's Rhyme by Dorothy Parker 46 Comments
11291 The Satin Dress Comments and analysis of The Satin Dress by Dorothy Parker 47 Comments
11159 The Little Old Lady in Lavender Silk
11065 Indian Summer Comments and analysis of Indian Summer by Dorothy Parker 47 Comments
11051 Love Song Comments and analysis of Love Song by Dorothy Parker 49 Comments
10946 A Dream Lies Dead
10835 The Sea Comments and analysis of The Sea by Dorothy Parker 31 Comments
10730 The Apple Tree
10671 The Red Dress Comments and analysis of The Red Dress by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
10529 Midnight Comments and analysis of Midnight by Dorothy Parker 21 Comments
10187 Lines on Reading Too Many Poets Comments and analysis of Lines on Reading Too Many Poets by Dorothy Parker 24 Comments
10187 The Trusting Heart Comments and analysis of The Trusting Heart by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
9842 A Certain Lady
9358 Symptom Recital Comments and analysis of Symptom Recital by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
9314 Summary Comments and analysis of Summary by Dorothy Parker 15 Comments
9255 Of a Woman, Dead Young
9141 Rainy Night Comments and analysis of Rainy Night by Dorothy Parker 16 Comments
9071 Faute de Mieux Comments and analysis of Faute de Mieux by Dorothy Parker 31 Comments
8978 The Last Question Comments and analysis of The Last Question by Dorothy Parker 241 Comments
8940 Sonnet on an Alpine Night Comments and analysis of Sonnet on an Alpine Night by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
8927 Guinevere at Her Fireside Comments and analysis of Guinevere at Her Fireside by Dorothy Parker 214 Comments
8719 Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom Comments and analysis of Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom by Dorothy Parker 40 Comments
8707 Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals Comments and analysis of Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
8681 From a Letter from Lesbia
8524 Ornithology for Beginners Comments and analysis of Ornithology for Beginners by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
8172 Somebody's Song Comments and analysis of Somebody's Song by Dorothy Parker 17 Comments
8023 Prisoner
8007 The Small Hours Comments and analysis of The Small Hours by Dorothy Parker 13 Comments
7872 Sonnet for the End of a Sequence Comments and analysis of Sonnet for the End of a Sequence by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
7791 Post-Graduate Comments and analysis of Post-Graduate by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
7712 But Not Forgotten Comments and analysis of But Not Forgotten by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
7706 The New Love Comments and analysis of The New Love by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
7698 August Comments and analysis of August by Dorothy Parker 11 Comments
7648 Autobiography
7590 For a Sad Lady
7480 The Willow
7361 Ballade of a Talked-off Ear
7266 Ninon de Lenclos, on Her Last Birthday Comments and analysis of Ninon de Lenclos, on Her Last Birthday by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
7257 Epitaph for a Darling Lady
7108 On Cheating the Fiddler Comments and analysis of On Cheating the Fiddler by Dorothy Parker 17 Comments
7062 Philosophy Comments and analysis of Philosophy by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
7014 Garden-Spot
6858 De Profundis Comments and analysis of De Profundis by Dorothy Parker 13 Comments
6854 Ballade at Thirty-Five Comments and analysis of Ballade at Thirty-Five by Dorothy Parker 32 Comments
6803 Chant for Dark Hours Comments and analysis of Chant for Dark Hours by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
6768 Observation Comments and analysis of Observation by Dorothy Parker 439 Comments
6611 Song of Perfect Propriety
6584 Bric-a-Brac Comments and analysis of Bric-a-Brac by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
6517 Paths Comments and analysis of Paths by Dorothy Parker 203 Comments
6390 The Maid-Servant at the Inn Comments and analysis of The Maid-Servant at the Inn by Dorothy Parker 20 Comments
6368 Afternoon Comments and analysis of Afternoon by Dorothy Parker 25 Comments
6275 Ballade of a Great Weariness
6271 Interview Comments and analysis of Interview by Dorothy Parker 19 Comments
6250 News Item Comments and analysis of News Item by Dorothy Parker 22 Comments
6237 Godspeed Comments and analysis of Godspeed by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
6192 Incurable Comments and analysis of Incurable by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
6105 The White Lady
5991 Portrait of the Artist Comments and analysis of Portrait of the Artist by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
5978 Now at Liberty Comments and analysis of Now at Liberty by Dorothy Parker 15 Comments
5946 Anecdote Comments and analysis of Anecdote by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
5945 Healed Comments and analysis of Healed by Dorothy Parker 21 Comments
5874 Alfred, Lord Tennyson Comments and analysis of Alfred, Lord Tennyson by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
5865 Theory
5857 The Leal Comments and analysis of The Leal by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
5854 They Part Comments and analysis of They Part by Dorothy Parker 11 Comments
5851 Two-Volume Novel Comments and analysis of Two-Volume Novel by Dorothy Parker 11 Comments
5792 Neither Bloody nor Bowed Comments and analysis of Neither Bloody nor Bowed by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
5686 Requiescat Comments and analysis of Requiescat by Dorothy Parker 16 Comments
5677 Temps Perdu Comments and analysis of Temps Perdu by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5615 Plea
5557 Fable
5518 Liebestod
5482 Wail
5476 Convalescent Comments and analysis of Convalescent by Dorothy Parker 17 Comments
5392 Walter Savage Landor Comments and analysis of Walter Savage Landor by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
5323 Pictures in the Smoke
5311 The Searched Soul Comments and analysis of The Searched Soul by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5270 Victoria Comments and analysis of Victoria by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5226 Rondeau Redouble Comments and analysis of Rondeau Redouble by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
5198 For a Lady Who Must Write Verse
5190 Story
5176 Testament
5142 The Dramatists
5105 Recurrence
4966 The Homebody Comments and analysis of The Homebody by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
4930 Prologue to a Saga
4841 The Thin Edge
4777 The Immortals
4760 Pattern
4703 George Sand
4611 Pour Prendre Conge
4494 Thomas Carlyle
4464 Harriet Beecher Stowe
4261 To Newcastle
4152 Story of Mrs. W-
2572 General Review of the Sex Situation Comments and analysis of General Review of the Sex Situation by Dorothy Parker 708 Comments
1654 Daylight Saving Comments and analysis of Daylight Saving by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
1629 Prayer for a Prayer Comments and analysis of Prayer for a Prayer by Dorothy Parker 38 Comments
1553 Verse for a Certain Dog Comments and analysis of Verse for a Certain Dog by Dorothy Parker 42 Comments
1518 Frustration Comments and analysis of Frustration by Dorothy Parker 248 Comments
1260 Lullaby Comments and analysis of Lullaby by Dorothy Parker 49 Comments
1227 Distance Comments and analysis of Distance by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
1213 Prayer for a New Mother Comments and analysis of Prayer for a New Mother by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
1189 The Evening Primrose Comments and analysis of The Evening Primrose by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
1171 Coda Comments and analysis of Coda by Dorothy Parker 235 Comments
1150 Dilemma Comments and analysis of Dilemma by Dorothy Parker 260 Comments
1133 Comment Comments and analysis of Comment by Dorothy Parker 22 Comments
1097 I Know I Have Been Happiest Comments and analysis of I Know I Have Been Happiest by Dorothy Parker 22 Comments
1084 Hearthside
1053 Thought for a Sunshiny Morning
1047 Transition
974 Social Note
902 Threnody Comments and analysis of Threnody by Dorothy Parker 259 Comments
898 Reuben's Children Comments and analysis of Reuben's Children by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
898 I Shall Come Back Comments and analysis of I Shall Come Back by Dorothy Parker 217 Comments
896 For an Unknown Lady
870 The Gentlest Lady Comments and analysis of The Gentlest Lady by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
863 The Flaw in Paganism Comments and analysis of The Flaw in Paganism by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
860 Surprise Comments and analysis of Surprise by Dorothy Parker 22 Comments
821 Men Comments and analysis of Men by Dorothy Parker 247 Comments
813 Partial Comfort Comments and analysis of Partial Comfort by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
811 Fair Weather
798 Vers Demode
734 Wisdom Comments and analysis of Wisdom by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
728 The Burned Child
725 There Was One Comments and analysis of There Was One by Dorothy Parker 13 Comments
717 Words of Comfort to Be Scratched on a Mirror
691 The Trifler Comments and analysis of The Trifler by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
686 The Veteran Comments and analysis of The Veteran by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
684 To a Much Too Unfortunate Lady Comments and analysis of To a Much Too Unfortunate Lady by Dorothy Parker 19 Comments
674 Second Love
673 Ultimatum Comments and analysis of Ultimatum by Dorothy Parker 16 Comments
661 The Lady's Reward Comments and analysis of The Lady's Reward by Dorothy Parker 56 Comments
660 Parable for a Certain Virgin Comments and analysis of Parable for a Certain Virgin by Dorothy Parker 31 Comments
639 Condolence Comments and analysis of Condolence by Dorothy Parker 27 Comments
633 A Well-Worn Story
624 Superfluous Advice Comments and analysis of Superfluous Advice by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
618 After Spanish Proverb Comments and analysis of After Spanish Proverb by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
614 A Fairly Sad Tale
593 Tombstones in the Starlight Comments and analysis of Tombstones in the Starlight by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
504 Salome's Dancing-Lesson
500 A Pig's-Eye View of Literature
485 Renunciation
478 Solace Comments and analysis of Solace by Dorothy Parker 31 Comments
464 Bohemia
426 Nocturne
422 On Being a Woman Comments and analysis of On Being a Woman by Dorothy Parker 33 Comments
421 Iseult of Brittany
391 Charles Dickens Comments and analysis of Charles Dickens by Dorothy Parker 15 Comments
390 Inventory Comments and analysis of Inventory by Dorothy Parker 19 Comments
344 Prophetic Soul
327 George Gissing Comments and analysis of George Gissing by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
315 Cherry White Comments and analysis of Cherry White by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
301 Interior Comments and analysis of Interior by Dorothy Parker 13 Comments
272 Braggart
245 The Whistling Girl Comments and analysis of The Whistling Girl by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
160 Oscar Wilde Comments and analysis of Oscar Wilde by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
145 Light of Love Comments and analysis of Light of Love by Dorothy Parker 26 Comments
144 One Perfect Rose Comments and analysis of One Perfect Rose by Dorothy Parker 338 Comments
132 Sight
130 The Danger of Writing Defiant Verse Comments and analysis of The Danger of Writing Defiant Verse by Dorothy Parker 36 Comments
108 Alexandre Dumas and His Son Comments and analysis of Alexandre Dumas and His Son by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
106 Song of One of the Girls
96 D. G. Rossetti
74 Landscape Comments and analysis of Landscape by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
48 The Second Oldest Story
42 Mortal Enemy Comments and analysis of Mortal Enemy by Dorothy Parker 20 Comments
34 Roundel
27 Experience Comments and analysis of Experience by Dorothy Parker 13 Comments
26 Fulfillment
3 A Portrait


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