Wednesday 1 January 2020

The Portable Dorothy Parker

Finished December 31
The Portable Dorothy Parker edited by Marion Meade, jacket design by Seth

This collection covers Parker's career, containing pieces from 1905 to 1962. The variety is also wide, from letters to book reviews, essays, poems, and short stories. The first part of the book contains a collection Parker published in 1944 under the title The Portable Dorothy Parker consisting of short stories and poetry; and it is followed by a section of other writing ranging in date from 1917 to 1959 and consisting of short stories, essays, book reviews, and magazine articles. The final section, entitled A Dorothy Parker Sampler, ranges from 1915 to 1962 and consists of magazine pieces, letters, an interview and a speech. So, as you can see there is a lot here and because it covers such a wide range, you can see how her voice develops.
She has a wicked, droll sense of humour and isn't afraid to say what she thinks. She has a good eye for situations and can really set a scene. I wasn't that familiar with her writing before I read this, but I really enjoyed it.
This particular edition has endflaps made of drawing showing her attitude, telling her life story, and giving a hint of the contents. These are done by Seth and are really nicely done. This is definitely a keeper and has earned a place on my shelves for years to come.

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