Parker, Dorothy (1893 - 1967)

Biography: 

Dorothy (Rothschild) Parker was born on August 22, 1893, in West End, New Jersey, the daughter of Henry Rothschild and Eliza Marston. She was educated at the Convent of the Blessed Sacrament in New York. Her first job, writing captions for Vogue, led to a career in journalism, criticism, light verse, and short-story, play, and screenplay writing. She became drama critic of Vanity Fair and was a member of the Round Table of the Algonquin Hotel from June 1919 with such as her good friend Robert Benchley. She married Edwin Pond Parker in 1917, but her love life proved unhappy, and they divorced in 1928. From October 1927 she made a living as "Constant Reader", the New Yorker's book reviewer, but considerable income accrued from her poems, at first published in magazines, and then in four volumes, Enough Rope (1926; PS 3531 A5855E5 Robarts Library), a best seller, and Sunset Gun (1928; PS 3531 .A5855 S8), Death and Taxes (1931; PS 3531 A5855D4), and Not so Deep as a Well (1936; PS 3531 A5855 A17). Laments for the Living (1930) and Here Lies (1939) are volumes of short stories. In 1933 she married Alan Campbell, a film actor, and they signed contracts a year later for screenplay work in Hollywood. A miscarriage followed in 1935, but this marriage, despite a divorce and a separation after World War II, lasted until his death in 1963. Dorothy Parker died January 7, 1967, in New York. She had suggested that her tombstone inscription read, "This is on me," but she was cremated, and her ashes remained in her attorney's filing cabinet until the late 1980s. She left her estate to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

  • The Collected Poetry of Dorothy Parker (New York: The Modern Library, 1967). PS 3531 .A5855A17 1967 Robarts Library.
  • Not Much Fun: The Lost Poems of Dorothy Parker, compiled with an introduction by Stuart Y. Silverstein (New York: Scribner, 1996). PS 3531 A5855N68 1996 Robarts Library
  • Calhoun, Randall. Dorothy Parker: a bio-bibliography (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993). PS 3531 .A5855Z6 1993 Robarts Library
  • Frewin, Leslie. The late Mrs. Dorothy Parker (New York: Macmillan, 1986). PS 3531 A5855Z65 1986 Robarts Library
  • Kinney, Arthur F. Dorothy Parker (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1998). PS 3531 .A5855Z73 Robarts Library
  • Meade, Marion. Dorothy Parker: what fresh hell is this? (New York: Villard Books, 1988). PS 3531 A5855Z77 1988 Robarts Library
Given Name: 
Dorothy
Family Name: 
Parker
Née: 
Rothschild
Birth Date: 
August 22, 1893
Death Date: 
January 7, 1967
Nationality: 

Honours

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