American critic, satirical poet, and short-story writer Dorothy Parker (1893 – 1967) is remembered as much for her flashing verbal exchanges and malicious wit as for the disenchanted stories and sketches in which she revealed her underlying pessimism. Starting her career as Vanity Fair’s drama critic and continuing as the New Yorker’s theater and book reviewer, Parker enhanced her legend in the 1920s and early 1930s through membership in the Algonquin Hotel’s celebrated Round Table.
Parker published her first light verse in “Enough Rope” (1927) and “Death and Taxes” (1931), volumes marked by an elegant economy of expression, sophisticated cynicism, and irony. These were followed by the short-story collections “Laments for the Living” (1930) and “After Such Pleasures” (1933), containing her single most famous story, “Big Blonde.” Parker scripted films in Hollywood from 1933 to 1938 and in 1937 covered the Spanish Civil War for the New Masses.
Listen to the story “Arrangement In Black And White”, read by Tyne Daily. This story is featured on the compilation “Wonderful Town – New York Stories from The New Yorker” (Random House Audio).