Dorothy Parker and her biggest fans

by Rachel Baker on October 9, 2007

I was introduced to the genius of Dorothy Parker in an English Lit class in college. My instructor gave us an assignment for a research paper about the life and times of any author on a predetermined list she handed out. I picked Dorothy Parker, because of the one phrase I knew she coined – “What fresh hell is this?” Little did I know the path this research would take me. I fell in love with not just Dorothy Parker, but the rest of the authors of that same era. I was fascinated and hooked. Since then, I have read every DP book I could find, and even began the long journey into the lives of all of the American Authors of the “lost generation.”

In light of this passion of mine, I wanted to introduce you to the Dorothy Parker Society.

The Dorothy Parker Society was founded in 1999. Their main goals are to promote Mrs. Parker’s work, introduce new readers to Mrs. Parker’s genius, expand the fan base, and to have fun. How could anyone not want to be a part of this?

They meet annually at Parkerfest; they conduct talks, walking tours, literary readings, and celebrate both her birthday and the anniversary of her death. Many festivities center around her various homes and the Algonquin Hotel. The Society do not have formal meetings – just parties (as Dorothy Parker would have wanted it). There are no dues and no membership fees.

This month, is their annual Dorothy Parker Month Celebration. Many festivities went on this past week, but there’s still time to participate in two more events this month. There are a few more activities left in October to celebrate Dorothy Parker:

Dorothy Parker Day will return to the Jersey Shore on Sunday, Oct. 14. The day-long Sunday program in Long Branch pays tribute to four things Mrs. Parker herself enjoyed: books, luncheons, her dogs, and cocktails:
* The Long Branch Free Public Library will present Parker’s work;
* A “Round Table luncheon” will channel her spirit at local eateries;
* A dog parade will pass Parker’s birthplace on Ocean Avenue;
* A late afternoon speakeasy party will toast her wit and charm.
Info and schedule here.

Sunday, Oct. 28, 3-4 p.m. at the Bowery Poetry Club. As part of the Great Poets in NYC series sponsored by Rattapallax, Kevin Fitzpatrick will present “Dorothy Parker and the Birth of The New Yorker.” Admission is free, the address is 308 Bowery (off Bleecker). For a full schedule of the other amazing New York poets in the series, look here.

For more on Dorothy Parker, click here.

Here’s a great set of Dorothy Parker books!

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