Nancy's Reviews > Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?

Dorothy Parker by Marion Meade
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Oct 26, 2010

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bookshelves: biographies
Read in October, 2010

I have spent the past 2-3 weeks sharing my loveseat with Dorothy Parker. It surprised me how often I felt compelled to get up, roam around, look for a project or, in other words, escape from Ms. Parker's oppressive presence.

The problem was not Marion Meade's writing, but more the harsh realization that Dorothy Parker was not the witty, clever, fun-loving person that I imagined her to be. I prefer my friends to be interesting rather than to be perfect, but simply stated, I did not enjoy Ms. Parker's company. And, I am confident she would not have enjoyed mine; she seemed most comfortable with male friends and did very little to encourage or support other women.

She whined. She obsessed. She criticized. And she squandered her talent. Any criticism I have of this biography is with the subject, not the writer. It would have been wrong to try to mask Parker's shortcomings, but 400 pages of dysfunctional behaviour was more than I needed to understand the subject.
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