The Portable Dorothy Parker

The Portable Dorothy Parker Cover

The Portable Dorothy Parker

By Dorothy Parker; Marion Meade (Introduction by)

Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143039532, 626pp.

Publication Date: March 28, 2006


The second revision in sixty years, this sublime collection ranges over the verse, stories, essays, and journalism of one of the twentieth century's most quotable authors.

For this new twenty-first-century edition, devoted admirers can be sure to find their favorite verse and stories. But a variety of fresh material has also been added to create a fuller, more authentic picture of her life's work. There are some stories new to the Portable, "Such a Pretty Little Picture," along with a selection of articles written for such disparate publications as Vogue, McCall's, House and Garden, and New Masses. Two of these pieces concern home decorating, a subject not usually associated with Mrs. Parker. At the heart of her serious work lies her political writings-racial, labor, international-and so "Soldiers of the Republic" is joined by reprints of "Not Enough" and "Sophisticated Poetry-And the Hell With It," both of which first appeared in New Masses. "A Dorothy Parker Sampler" blends the sublime and the silly with the terrifying, a sort of tasting menu of verse, stories, essays, political journalism, a speech on writing, plus a catchy off-the-cuff rhyme she never thought to write down.

The introduction of two new sections is intended to provide the richest possible sense of Parker herself. "Self-Portrait" reprints an interview she did in 1956 with The Paris Review, part of a famed ongoing series of conversations ("Writers at Work") that the literary journal conducted with the best of twentieth-century writers. What makes the interviews so interesting is that they were permitted to edit their transcripts before publication, resulting in miniature autobiographies.

"Letters: 1905-1962," which might be subtitled "Mrs. Parker Completely Uncensored," presents correspondence written over the period of a half century, beginning in 1905 when twelve-year-old Dottie wrote her father during a summer vacation on Long Island, and concluding with a 1962 missive from Hollywood describing her fondness for Marilyn Monroe.

A Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition with French flaps, rough front, and luxurious packaging

Features an introduction from Marion Meade andcover illustrations byrenowned graphic artist Seth, creator of the comic series Palooka-ville.

About the Author
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) wrote at various times in her life for "Vogue, Vanity Fair," and the "New Yorker" and was a key member of the famed New York literary circle, the Algonquin Round Table.

Marion Meade is the author of "Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?" as well as biographies of Woody Allen, Buster Keaton, and Madame Blavatsky.

Seth is an illustrator whose work has been featured in such publications as the "Washington Post, Details, Spin," and the "New York Times," He is best known for his continuing comic-book series "Palooka-Ville,"

MARION MEADE is the author of Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? and Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the Twenties. She has also written biographies of Woody Allen, Buster Keaton, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Madame Blavatsky, and Victoria Woodhull, as well as two novels about medieval France.