Thursday, June 07, 2007

Dorothy Parker
What Fresh Hell is This?

A Biography by Marion Meade

If I could choose one person to go back in time to have a chat with, it would be Dorothy Parker. She was a woman of many writing talents and her works include screenplays, short stories, critical reviews and clever verse. The author's often one-liner wise-cracks about life and men were absolutely hilarious and even when one is in the darkest of moods, she could make you at least break out a wry smile.

Parker's life wasn't an easy one. She was divorced twice, had a string of painful affairs, a lifelong struggle with alcoholism, and several suicide attempts. Her "funniness" and sarcasm was merely a cover-up for the pain she was holding inside.

In this lively, absorbing biography, Marion Meade illuminates both the dark side of Parker and her days of wicked wittiness at the Algonquin Round Table with the likes of Robert Benchley, George Kaufman, and Harold Ross, and in Hollywood with S.J. Perelman, William Faulkner, and Lilian Hellman. At the dazzling center of it all, Meade gives us the flamboyant, self-destructive, and brilliant Dorothy Parker.

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