American Women Fiction Writers, 1900-1960 - Vol. 2

By Harold Bloom | Go to book overview

DOROTHY PARKER
1893-1967

DOROTHY ROTHSCHILD was born August 22, 1893, in West End, New Jersey.Her father, J. Henry Rothschild, was a prosperous New York haberdasher; her mother, Eliza A. Marston Rothschild, a Scottish Presbyterian, died shortly after Dorothy's birth. Dorothy attended Catholic and mostly Protestant schools but largely educated herself. In 1913, she joined the staff of Vogue, writing captions for fashion illustrations, but by 1915 she had moved to the more sophisticated and satirical Vanity Fair, which published her first prose work, " Why I Haven't Married," as well as captions for drawings, several essays, and free verse she called " Hate Songs." Dorothy did in fact marry ( Edwin Pond Parker in 1917); but she would divorce him in 1928.

Increasingly famous for her wit, acerbic criticism, and seemingly glib poems of suicide, Parker was fired from Vanity Fair in 1920. She joined Ainslee's as drama critic and, during the next three years, published poems, literary criticism, and essays in Life, Saturday Evening Post, and Ladies' Home Journal. Her first published story, " Such a Pretty Little Picture," an interior monologue, appeared in Smart Set in 1922. One of Parker's best short stories, "Mr. Durant," about an abortion, appeared in American Mercury two years later, and at the same time a chapter from her novel Bobbed Hair was published in Collier's. She then turned to film, completing Business Is Business with George S. Kaufman.She was as an editor of the first issue of The New Yorker in 1925 and later, as the magazine's book editor, became famous for her column "Constant Reader."

Very much part of the literary scene and a member of a set of social literati called the Algonquin Round Table, Parker met Ernest Hemingway in 1926 and accompanied him and others to France. There she was introduced to the expatriate world, meeting Archibald MacLeish, Gilbert Seldes, and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.A volume of her poems, Enough Rope, was published the same year. In 1929, Parker won an 0. Henry Memorial Prize for " Big Blonde," a powerful and well-crafted story that was in many ways autobiographical. She continued publishing prolifically: a collection of short stories, Laments for the Living ( 1930); a collection of poems, Death and Taxes ( 1931); another story collection, After Such Pleasures ( 1933); and articles and stories in Harper's Bazaar, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Cosmopolitan.

Parker married actor Alan Campbell in 1933 and collaborated with him on dialogue and screenplays, but she disliked writing for

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American Women Fiction Writers, 1900-1960 - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • American Women Fiction Writers 1900-1969 Volume Two *
  • Contents *
  • The Analysis of Women Writers xi
  • Introduction xv
  • Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins 1859-1930 1
  • Zora Neale Hurston 1851-1960 12
  • Shirley Jackson 1919-1965 28
  • Nella Larsen 1851-1964 41
  • Mary Mccarthy 1912-1989 55
  • Carson Mccullers 1917-1967 71
  • Margaret Mitchell 1900-1949 88
  • AnaÏs Nin 1903-1977 107
  • Flannery O'Connor 1925-1964 124
  • Dorothy Parker 1893-1967 147
  • Ann Petry 0. 1908 161
  • Index 174
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