Dorothy Parker commented on the art and events of her times with her brilliant turns of phrase and acid wit. Forced by her Christian stepmother to attend Catholic school, where she was made to feel an outsider, Parker perfected her biting sense of humor and quit school altogether at age fourteen. In 1918, she briefly became a staff writer for Vanity Fair, replacing P.G. Wodehouse as drama critic. Together with other noted literary and theatrical figures, she formed the Algonquin Hotel “Round Table” and the group became famous for their bon mots and commentary, Parker most of all. In 1926, strapped for funds, Parker published her first collection of dark, funny poems, Enough Rope, which became an instant bestseller. She went on to write several more volumes of poetry and short stories, as well as several plays, including the original script of A Star is Born. In 1958, she also began writing vivid literary criticism, much of which was published in the New Yorker under the title “Constant Reader.” Despite her cynical views, Parker was deeply committed to activism, from working against Franco to organizing Hollywood screenwriters, and was arrested and blacklisted for her views at various times.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Dorothy Parker." (Viewed on July 26, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people/parker-dorothy>.