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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
24346 Resume Comments and analysis of Resume by Dorothy Parker 294 Comments
19547 One Perfect Rose Comments and analysis of One Perfect Rose by Dorothy Parker 322 Comments
17814 Unfortunate Coincidence Comments and analysis of Unfortunate Coincidence by Dorothy Parker 53 Comments
16964 "Star Light, Star Bright-" Comments and analysis of 52 Comments
16219 On Being a Woman Comments and analysis of On Being a Woman by Dorothy Parker 28 Comments
15771 My Own Comments and analysis of My Own by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
15617 The False Friends Comments and analysis of The False Friends by Dorothy Parker 78 Comments
15614 Godmother Comments and analysis of Godmother by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
15211 Little Words Comments and analysis of Little Words by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
14864 The Danger of Writing Defiant Verse Comments and analysis of The Danger of Writing Defiant Verse by Dorothy Parker 27 Comments
14588 Condolence Comments and analysis of Condolence by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
13461 After Spanish Proverb Comments and analysis of After Spanish Proverb by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
13039 For a Favorite Granddaughter
12460 Fighting Words
12238 Penelope Comments and analysis of Penelope by Dorothy Parker 258 Comments
11572 Sanctuary Comments and analysis of Sanctuary by Dorothy Parker 20 Comments
11467 The Choice Comments and analysis of The Choice by Dorothy Parker 48 Comments
11381 Autumn Valentine Comments and analysis of Autumn Valentine by Dorothy Parker 32 Comments
11294 Epitaph Comments and analysis of Epitaph by Dorothy Parker 219 Comments
11161 Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song Comments and analysis of Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song by Dorothy Parker 216 Comments
11084 Rhyme Against Living Comments and analysis of Rhyme Against Living by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
10969 Sweet Violets Comments and analysis of Sweet Violets by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
10775 The Dark Girl's Rhyme Comments and analysis of The Dark Girl's Rhyme by Dorothy Parker 43 Comments
10681 A Very Short Song Comments and analysis of A Very Short Song by Dorothy Parker 277 Comments
10591 The Little Old Lady in Lavender Silk
10520 Love Song Comments and analysis of Love Song by Dorothy Parker 43 Comments
10414 The Satin Dress Comments and analysis of The Satin Dress by Dorothy Parker 41 Comments
10255 The Sea Comments and analysis of The Sea by Dorothy Parker 22 Comments
10182 The Apple Tree
10107 Indian Summer Comments and analysis of Indian Summer by Dorothy Parker 39 Comments
10088 A Dream Lies Dead
10069 The Red Dress Comments and analysis of The Red Dress by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
9914 Midnight Comments and analysis of Midnight by Dorothy Parker 17 Comments
9702 The Trusting Heart Comments and analysis of The Trusting Heart by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
9675 Lines on Reading Too Many Poets Comments and analysis of Lines on Reading Too Many Poets by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
9297 The Lady's Reward Comments and analysis of The Lady's Reward by Dorothy Parker 37 Comments
9286 A Certain Lady
8877 A Fairly Sad Tale
8867 Summary Comments and analysis of Summary by Dorothy Parker 13 Comments
8789 Of a Woman, Dead Young
8568 Rainy Night Comments and analysis of Rainy Night by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
8518 Faute de Mieux Comments and analysis of Faute de Mieux by Dorothy Parker 27 Comments
8427 The Last Question Comments and analysis of The Last Question by Dorothy Parker 233 Comments
8414 Sonnet on an Alpine Night Comments and analysis of Sonnet on an Alpine Night by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
8220 From a Letter from Lesbia
8208 Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom Comments and analysis of Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom by Dorothy Parker 38 Comments
8151 Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals Comments and analysis of Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
8132 Symptom Recital Comments and analysis of Symptom Recital by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
7847 Guinevere at Her Fireside Comments and analysis of Guinevere at Her Fireside by Dorothy Parker 207 Comments
7820 Ornithology for Beginners Comments and analysis of Ornithology for Beginners by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
7756 Parable for a Certain Virgin Comments and analysis of Parable for a Certain Virgin by Dorothy Parker 24 Comments
7581 Somebody's Song Comments and analysis of Somebody's Song by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
7534 Prisoner
7432 The Small Hours Comments and analysis of The Small Hours by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
7406 Post-Graduate Comments and analysis of Post-Graduate by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
7262 A Well-Worn Story
7248 The New Love Comments and analysis of The New Love by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
7229 But Not Forgotten Comments and analysis of But Not Forgotten by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
7141 Mortal Enemy Comments and analysis of Mortal Enemy by Dorothy Parker 15 Comments
7139 August Comments and analysis of August by Dorothy Parker 3 Comments
7133 For a Sad Lady
7107 Sonnet for the End of a Sequence Comments and analysis of Sonnet for the End of a Sequence by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
6946 The Willow
6818 Ballade of a Talked-off Ear
6814 Epitaph for a Darling Lady
6709 Philosophy Comments and analysis of Philosophy by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
6699 Ninon de Lenclos, on Her Last Birthday Comments and analysis of Ninon de Lenclos, on Her Last Birthday by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
6571 Garden-Spot
6497 Inventory Comments and analysis of Inventory by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
6398 Autobiography
6394 On Cheating the Fiddler Comments and analysis of On Cheating the Fiddler by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
6335 The Whistling Girl Comments and analysis of The Whistling Girl by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
6319 De Profundis Comments and analysis of De Profundis by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
6309 Chant for Dark Hours Comments and analysis of Chant for Dark Hours by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
6265 Ballade at Thirty-Five Comments and analysis of Ballade at Thirty-Five by Dorothy Parker 28 Comments
6204 A Portrait
6164 Braggart
6149 Observation Comments and analysis of Observation by Dorothy Parker 428 Comments
6097 Bric-a-Brac Comments and analysis of Bric-a-Brac by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
6080 Paths Comments and analysis of Paths by Dorothy Parker 202 Comments
6029 Charles Dickens Comments and analysis of Charles Dickens by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
6009 Experience Comments and analysis of Experience by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
5900 Oscar Wilde Comments and analysis of Oscar Wilde by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5900 Sight
5833 Godspeed Comments and analysis of Godspeed by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5801 Song of Perfect Propriety
5745 Fulfillment
5743 Ballade of a Great Weariness
5670 Interview Comments and analysis of Interview by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
5646 The Maid-Servant at the Inn Comments and analysis of The Maid-Servant at the Inn by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
5643 Afternoon Comments and analysis of Afternoon by Dorothy Parker 16 Comments
5631 News Item Comments and analysis of News Item by Dorothy Parker 12 Comments
5586 Anecdote Comments and analysis of Anecdote by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
5577 Incurable Comments and analysis of Incurable by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
5536 Healed Comments and analysis of Healed by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
5522 Portrait of the Artist Comments and analysis of Portrait of the Artist by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
5487 Nocturne
5457 Alfred, Lord Tennyson Comments and analysis of Alfred, Lord Tennyson by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
5455 The White Lady
5444 The Leal Comments and analysis of The Leal by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
5443 They Part Comments and analysis of They Part by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
5430 Landscape Comments and analysis of Landscape by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5408 Neither Bloody nor Bowed Comments and analysis of Neither Bloody nor Bowed by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
5381 Theory
5379 Now at Liberty Comments and analysis of Now at Liberty by Dorothy Parker 13 Comments
5298 Temps Perdu Comments and analysis of Temps Perdu by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
5274 Two-Volume Novel Comments and analysis of Two-Volume Novel by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
5205 Iseult of Brittany
5135 Plea
5104 Wail
5085 Requiescat Comments and analysis of Requiescat by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
5018 Fable
5004 Walter Savage Landor Comments and analysis of Walter Savage Landor by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
4975 Liebestod
4903 Convalescent Comments and analysis of Convalescent by Dorothy Parker 9 Comments
4870 The Searched Soul Comments and analysis of The Searched Soul by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
4848 Pictures in the Smoke
4813 Victoria Comments and analysis of Victoria by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
4793 Story
4745 The Second Oldest Story
4742 Testament
4723 For a Lady Who Must Write Verse
4702 Interior Comments and analysis of Interior by Dorothy Parker 8 Comments
4690 Recurrence
4688 Rondeau Redouble Comments and analysis of Rondeau Redouble by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
4573 Prophetic Soul
4498 D. G. Rossetti
4450 The Dramatists
4440 Prologue to a Saga
4436 The Homebody Comments and analysis of The Homebody by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
4406 Pattern
4389 The Thin Edge
4362 Roundel
4351 The Immortals
4240 George Sand
4205 Pour Prendre Conge
4051 Harriet Beecher Stowe
4046 Alexandre Dumas and His Son Comments and analysis of Alexandre Dumas and His Son by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
3955 Thomas Carlyle
3851 To Newcastle
3787 Story of Mrs. W-
3445 George Gissing Comments and analysis of George Gissing by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
1377 General Review of the Sex Situation Comments and analysis of General Review of the Sex Situation by Dorothy Parker 681 Comments
946 Prayer for a Prayer Comments and analysis of Prayer for a Prayer by Dorothy Parker 36 Comments
787 Solace Comments and analysis of Solace by Dorothy Parker 29 Comments
723 Frustration Comments and analysis of Frustration by Dorothy Parker 240 Comments
659 Coda Comments and analysis of Coda by Dorothy Parker 232 Comments
626 Distance Comments and analysis of Distance by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
600 Verse for a Certain Dog Comments and analysis of Verse for a Certain Dog by Dorothy Parker 37 Comments
597 Comment Comments and analysis of Comment by Dorothy Parker 15 Comments
596 Prayer for a New Mother Comments and analysis of Prayer for a New Mother by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
592 Dilemma Comments and analysis of Dilemma by Dorothy Parker 244 Comments
583 Light of Love Comments and analysis of Light of Love by Dorothy Parker 19 Comments
574 The Evening Primrose Comments and analysis of The Evening Primrose by Dorothy Parker 2 Comments
561 Lullaby Comments and analysis of Lullaby by Dorothy Parker 41 Comments
557 Bohemia
548 Social Note
525 Thought for a Sunshiny Morning
490 Transition
480 Hearthside
440 Wisdom Comments and analysis of Wisdom by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
422 Surprise Comments and analysis of Surprise by Dorothy Parker 14 Comments
417 Vers Demode
412 For an Unknown Lady
408 Reuben's Children Comments and analysis of Reuben's Children by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
406 The Gentlest Lady Comments and analysis of The Gentlest Lady by Dorothy Parker 4 Comments
389 Daylight Saving Comments and analysis of Daylight Saving by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
325 There Was One Comments and analysis of There Was One by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
267 I Shall Come Back Comments and analysis of I Shall Come Back by Dorothy Parker 209 Comments
265 Ultimatum Comments and analysis of Ultimatum by Dorothy Parker 13 Comments
257 I Know I Have Been Happiest Comments and analysis of I Know I Have Been Happiest by Dorothy Parker 16 Comments
236 Men Comments and analysis of Men by Dorothy Parker 238 Comments
220 Fair Weather
215 The Burned Child
211 Words of Comfort to Be Scratched on a Mirror
192 The Trifler Comments and analysis of The Trifler by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
182 Second Love
176 The Veteran Comments and analysis of The Veteran by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
158 Partial Comfort Comments and analysis of Partial Comfort by Dorothy Parker 10 Comments
155 Superfluous Advice Comments and analysis of Superfluous Advice by Dorothy Parker 7 Comments
140 To a Much Too Unfortunate Lady Comments and analysis of To a Much Too Unfortunate Lady by Dorothy Parker 11 Comments
51 Threnody Comments and analysis of Threnody by Dorothy Parker 248 Comments
48 The Flaw in Paganism Comments and analysis of The Flaw in Paganism by Dorothy Parker 5 Comments
31 Tombstones in the Starlight Comments and analysis of Tombstones in the Starlight by Dorothy Parker 1 Comment
31 Cherry White Comments and analysis of Cherry White by Dorothy Parker 6 Comments
29 Renunciation
23 Song of One of the Girls
18 Salome's Dancing-Lesson
3 A Pig's-Eye View of Literature


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