Farewell, Dorothy Parker
By Ellen Meister
(Putnam Adult, Hardcover, 9780399159077, 320pp.)
Publication Date: February 21, 2013
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What if inspiration came to visit...and wouldn't leave?
When it comes to movie reviews, critic Violet Epps is a powerhouse voice. But that's only because she's learned to channel her literary hero, Dorothy Parker, the most celebrated and scathing wit of the 20th century.
If only Violet could summon that kind of courage in her personal life.
Determined to defeat her social anxiety, Violet visits the Algonquin Hotel to pull strength from the hallowed dining room, where Dorothy Parker and so many other famous writers of the 1920s traded barbs. But she gets more than she bargained for when Dorothy Parker's feisty spirit rematerializes from an ancient guestbook and hitches a ride onto her life.
Violet is shocked and thrilled to be face-to-face with her idol, but when the gin-swilling writer takes up residence in her home and grows pricklier and more outspoken by the day, the timid movie critic is pushed to her limit. With her job threatened, her new relationship in tatters, and the custody fight for her orphaned niece in jeopardy, Violet is forced to face her fears ...and she makes sure Mrs. Parker does the same.
Wickedly funny and surprisingly poignant, Farewell, Dorothy Parker perfectly re-imagines one of America's most iconic voices in a captivating and unforgettable tale.
Ellen Meister is the author of three previous novels: The Other Life, The Smart One, and Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA. She has held editorial positions at SmokeLong Quarterly and DimeStories. Meister teaches creative writing at Hofstra University School of Continuing Education and runs an online group where she mentors aspiring women authors.
In a new novel, the 1920s writer known for her sharp wit becomes resident ghost and adviser to a modern woman struggling to find her own voice. And the two women â?? spirit and flesh â?? come to depend on each other. More at NPR.org
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"Meister honors Dorothy Parker, her still-fresh political convictions, and her body of witty, insightful work in this very nice literary romp.... Parker was the perfect New Yorker: sharp, witty and eminently quotable. And it is clear that Meister had a lot of responsible fun paying tribute to her." —Bookreporter
"Meister skillfully translates the rapier-like wit of the Algonquin Round Table to modern-day New York ... [with] pathos, nuanced characters, plenty of rapid-fire one-liners, and a heart-rending denouement." —Publishers Weekly
“With a breezy and engaging writing style complete with Parkeresque banter…. [Farewell, Dorothy Parker] will be enjoyed by readers.” —Library Journal
“[Meister] reveals the pathos behind the pith...Classic Parker zingers sprinkled throughout the novel add sparkle.” —Washington Post
"Farewell, Dorothy Parker is a delightful haunting. How wonderful to have the renowned wit--America's wisegirl--as resident ghost and adviser.... Ellen Meister's new novel is smart and fun."
—Susan Isaacs, New York Times bestselling author of As Husbands Go
Gone four decades and still missed, Dorothy Parker now has a starring role in Ellen Meister’s delicious new novel. No doubt Mrs. Parker, wherever she is, must be smiling." —Marion Meade, author of Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?
"In Farewell, Dorothy Parker, Ellen Meister provides refreshing insight into Mrs. Parker as a wit, civil rights advocate, and writer. Both of this bitchin' novel's main characters--Violet and Dorothy--can visit me any time."
—Mark Ebner, New York Times bestselling author of Hollywood, Interrupted
"What bliss to be in the company of a reimagined Dorothy Parker! Ellen Meister's wonderful novel delivers the wit, ingenuity and elegiac sass worthy of the Algonquin Table's most quoted member. Long live Dorothy Parker and her zingers, resurrected so winningly in these pages." —Elinor Lipman author of The Family Man