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Parker, Dorothy


PARKER, DOROTHY (1893–1967), U.S. poet and author. Daughter of a Jewish father and a Scottish mother, she began her career by writing reviews for Vogue and Vanity Fair (who found her reviews too harsh) and then for The New Yorker. Her first book of verse, Enough Rope (1926), was a best seller, and was followed by two others, all three later being collected in Not So Deep As a Well (1936). She also became known as a short story writer, her prizewinning tale, "Big Blonde" (1929), being generally considered her best. Collected short stories appeared in Laments for the Living (1930), After Such Pleasures (1933), and Here Lies (1939); in 1944 a collection of her prose and verse appeared as The Portable Dorothy Parker, with an introduction by W. Somerset Maugham. Dorothy Parker was witty, sardonic, elegant, and often profound. She also wrote Hollywood screenplays, and a drama in which she collaborated with Arnaud d'Usseau, Ladies of the Corridor (1953), was successfully staged in New York.


J. Keats, You Might as Well Live (1970); N.W. Yates, American Humorist (1964), 262–73; S.J. Kunitz, Twentieth Century Authors, first supplement (1955); Paris Review, Writers at Work (1958), 69–82.

[Sol Liptzin]

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