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Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
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Dorothy Parker


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  • 1. Dorothy Parker
  • 2. Early Life
    Born August 22, 1893 in West End, New Jersey
    Father: Jacob Henry Rothschild (Jewish)
    Died in 1913 (one year after her uncle Henry died on the Titanic)
    Mother: Elizabeth Rothschild (Scottish)
    Died when Dorothy was 4 years old
    Father remarried Eleanor Lewis in 1900
  • 3. Family Problems
    • It is said that Parker was “a late and unexpected arrival in a loveless family.”
    • 4. Detested father and stepmother
    • 5. Accused father of being physically abusive
    • 6. Referred to Eleanor as “the housekeeper”
  • Attended private schools
    New Jersey
    New York City
    Formal education ended at age 14
  • 7. 1911 moved to New York City and lived in a boarding house, playing piano at a dance school to earn wages
    At age 21 began submitting writings to various magazines and papers
    Poem “Any Porch” was accepted and published by Vanity Fair
    She was paid $12 for this poem
    Early Work
  • 8. Hired by Vogue, a sister publication of Vanity Fair
    While working and Vogue, submissions to Vanity Fair continued to be published
    She worked 2 years at Vogue then moved to Vanity Fair in 1917
    worked as drama critic
    While at Vanity Fair she became New York’s only female drama critic at the time
    Vogue & Vanity Fair
  • 9. Parker was fired from the magazine in 1921due toincreasingly sarcastic and unfavorable reviews
    To earn money she began writing subtitles for a movie by D.W. Griffith
    Vogue & Vanity Fair
  • 10. In 1917 Dorothy married Edwin Parker, a New York City stock broker
    Dorothy was now referred to as Mrs. Dorothy Parker
  • 11. 1919 invited to the Algonquin Hotel because of her connection at Vanity Fair and her reputation as a drama critic
    This was the beginning of the famous Algonquin Round Table
    This group was a renowned intellectual library circle
    known for its “scathing with and intellectual commentary”
    Mrs. Parker was the only female founding member
    Other members: Robert Benchley, James Thurber, Robert Sherwood, George Kaufman, Harpo Marx, and Edna Ferber among many others.
    Algonquin Hotel
  • 12. Algonquin Hotel
  • 13. In 1922 she published her 1st story, “Such a Pretty Little Picture” for Smart Set
    This marked the beginning of her literary career
    In January of 1924 she moved into the Algonquin Hotel after divorcing her husband Edwin
    She began writing plays
    “Close Harmony” was her first
    Literary Career
  • 14. 1925 the 1st issue of the New Yorker was published and Parker contributed drama reviews, fiction, and poetry for the first few issues.
    Used the pen name “Constant Reader”
    1926 she set off for Paris but continued writing for the New Yorker
    Parker befriended Earnest Hemingway while in France
  • 15. 1929- Short story “The Big Blonde” published
    Won O. Henry award for the best short story of the year
    Began writing screenplays in Hollywood
    Moved to Hollywood because of need for money and was offered a contract by MGM
    Wrote many screenplays over the next decade
    “Laments for the Living”- 1930 collected fiction came out
  • 16. 1933- Once again traveled to Europe and met her 2nd husband Alan Campbell
    Scottish-Jewish decent
    Rumored bisexual
    The two became screen writing partners and signed a contract with Paramount Pictures in 1935
    1937- Dorothy won an Academy Award for her joint screenplay of “A Star is Born”
  • 17. In 1926Parker’s 1st book of poetry “Enough Rope” was published and received favorable reviews and became a bestseller
    They hail you as their morning starBecause you are the way you are.If you return the sentiment,They'll try to make you different;And once they have you, safe and sound,They want to change you all around.Your moods and ways they put a curse on;They'd make of you another person.They cannot let you go your gait;They influence and educate.They'd alter all that they admired.They make mesick, they make me tired.
    Résumé Razors pain you; Rivers are damp; Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp. Guns aren't lawful; Nooses give; Gas smell awful; You might as well live.
  • 18. Sunset Gun- 1928
    Death & Taxes-1931
    Other Collections
  • 19. In 1927 she became very involved in the Sacco and Vanzetti trial
    Traveled to Boston to join protests against the execution of two innocent men
    During protest she was arrested but refused to travel in the “Paddy Wagon”. Parker insisted on walking to jail. She eventually pleaded guilty to charges of loitering and sauntering and paid a $5 fine.
    From this moment on she was a committed socialist
  • 20. Somewhere in the mix of Parker’s work and political problems, Dorothy and Edwin remarried. However, in 1928, the marriage once again ended in a divorce
    This divorce was caused by many affairs committed by Dorothy, including that of Charles MacArthur
    This affair resulted in a pregnancy that was quickly aborted
    Parker is quoted, speaking of her love affairs, “How like me, to put all my eggs in one bastard.”
    The mix of these issues sparked depression for Parker which caused her 1st suicide attempt
    Hard Times
  • 21. 1950s
    Called before the House of un-American Activities and pleaded the first instead of the fifth
    Refused to name any names
    1952-1953, testimony was given against her before the HUAC
    1957-1963- worked as a book reviewer for Esquire magazine
    1959- inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters
    A distinguished visiting Professor of English at California State College in L.A.
    1964- published her final magazine piece in November’s issue of Esquire.
  • 22. June 7, 1967- found dead of a heart attack in her room at the Hotel Volney in New York City.
    Left entire literary estate to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation. After his death, the estate was passed on to the NAACP.
  • 23. The NAACP retrieved Dorothy’s ashes from her lawyer and created a memorial garden at its national headquarters on October 20, 1988. The memorial site, a brick circular emblem lies amid a small grove of pine trees. Appropriately, the emblem cites Parker's own witty epitaph, "Excuse My Dust."
    The plaque reads," Here lie the ashes of Dorothy Parker (1893 - 1967) humorist, writer, critic. Defender of human and civil rights. For her epitaph she suggested, 'Excuse my dust'. This memorial garden is dedicated to her noble spirit which celebrated the oneness of humankind and to the bonds of everlasting friendship between black and Jewish people. Dedicated by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. October 28, 1988.”
  • 24. Parker became famous for her short and viciously humorous poems.
    These poems were mainly about the ludicrousness of her many unsuccessful romantic affairs.
    Many other poems contain the appeal of suicide.
    Parker never considered these poems to be her most important works.