The Late Mrs. Dorothy Parker

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9780025413108: The Late Mrs. Dorothy Parker

1986 Macmillan hardcover, Leslie Frewin (Dietrich: The Story of a Star). Dorothy Parker, the "Guinevere of the legendary Algonquin Round Table," lived at the center of American intellectual life from the mid-1910s to the 1950s. Peppered with Parker's quips and verses, Frewin's book pulls together biographical details and the impressions of her contemporaries to portray the "surface gaiety and hidden misery" of Parker's life and times.

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From Publishers Weekly:

A prolific British biographer (Dietrich writes carelessly about the witty but unhappy short-story writer, versifier, critic and playwright Dorothy Rothschild Parker (18931967). For all her irreverent maxims, epigrams and bon mots, he notes, Parker's wit "ambivalently contained the seeds of a deep, personal sadness." A manic-depressive who resented the fact that her father was Jewish, and who had numerous unsuitable affairs with tall, handsome WASPs, she was twice married to the half-Jewish bisexual Alan Campbell and attempted suicide at least three times. Only with Robert Benchley, Robert Sherwood and Donald Ogden Stewart was she able to maintain nonbitchy relationships. Her remark about a book on science having been written "without fear and without research" might well be applied to Frewin's pretentious biography: he sedulously oversimplifies, confuses the chronology, pads the background with anachronisms and inappropriate names, relies heavily on the expression "met up with," and ruins many of Parker's best witticisms by inappropriate presentation. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Dorothy Parker, the "Guinevere of the legendary Algonquin Round Table," lived at the center of American intellectual life from the mid-1910s to the 1950s. Peppered with Parker's quips and verses, Frewin's book pulls together biographical details and the impressions of her contemporaries to portray the "surface gaiety and hidden misery" of Parker's life and times. In this regard, Frewin's work largely duplicates John Keats's You Might as Well Live (1970). Parker's friends saw her as an enigma, and she remains frustratingly remote in Frewin's biography. Had he offered an artistic critique of her work, the book would have been more satisfying. Recommended for public and academic libraries, although Keats may suffice. Barbara Carroll, M.L.S., Eau Claire, Wis.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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