When it comes to expressing the pleasure and pain of being just a touch too smart to be happy, Dorothy Parker is still the champion, after all these years. Along with Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott, and the rest of the Algonquin Round Table, she dominated American popular literature in the 1920s and 1930s. This collection of more than 30 short stories and poems is essential for any Parker fan and an excellent way for new listeners to make the acquaintance of one of the 20th century's most quotable authors, whose memorable lines include: "She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B", "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force", and "Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses".
Nominee, 2008 Audie Award, Short Stories/Collections
"Dorothy Parker doesn't just reveal the hypocrisies, vanities, myths, and foibles of her characters, she skewers them in a style that is merciless, wickedly funny, and often sad." (500 Great Books by Women)
"To say that Mrs. Parker writes well is as fatuous, I am afraid, as proclaiming that Cellini was clever with his hands....Mrs. Parker has an eye for people, an ear for language, and a feeling for the little things of life that are so immensely a part of the process of living." (Ogden Nash)
"[Parker's poetry is] characterized by brilliant concision, flippant cynicism, and caustic variations on certain dominant themes, such as frustrated love and cheated idealism in modern living. Her short stories and sketches...possess the same wry quality and polished technique that are found in her poems." (The Concise Oxford Companion to American Literature)
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What women really think
Brings a much need perspective to early 20th century literature to show what women thought of their lives or what they thought they thought or what they thought they were supposed to think. Parker is brutally honest about the vulnerability of women's feelings, and sly about their hypocrisies. Her characters tend to be stuck; that is, there isn't much room in Parker's world for inner growth or maturation. Maybe that's a limitation of the short story form. Or maybe it's a challenge for the reader to reflect on.
Oh, she's good!