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Customer Review

on 19 January 2011
"Sweet Violets

You are brief and frail and blue-
Little sisters, I am, too.
You are Heaven's masterpieces-
Little loves, the likeness ceases."

Dorothy Parker is one of my favorite authors; an author I have come to consider a 'close friend', as her words filled with heartbreak and wisecrack are as powerful and contemporary today as they were during her tempestuous lifetime. This is a fascinating collection of poems, short stories, and book and theatre reviews, which are so characteristic of her work and her worldview.

This collection includes some of her best poems. She wrote more then 300 poems for New York newspapers and magazines and she published some of these poems in three poetry collections; "Enough Rope", "Sunset Gun", and "Death and Taxes". These are the poems that are published in this book.

Her biographer, John Keats said that her wonderful short stories "are easily as good as some of O'Hara and Hemingway"; I disagree, they are much better. Of course she would never compare her work with theirs, as she never took herself seriously enough to even dare, and that is probably what makes her such a great writer. Her short stories, most of which are published in this collection, are personal and honest because she is so generous, giving so much of herself. It is clear that she was behind every heartbroken, self sarcastic character she describes, whether that is a young girl praying to God for a telephone call from her elusive lover, a desperate woman after a suicide attempt, or a war correspondent in Spain.

This collection also includes her book reviews from "The New Yorker" of which she was a founding member, and from "Esquire". Also her theatre reviews from "Vanity Fair" and from "The New Yorker". Her reviews apart from being valuable documents are delightful to read.

The book includes an excellent and informative introduction by Brendan Gill, some of her uncollected articles and an index of Titles of Stories and Titles and First Lines of Poems. The rest of her poems that were not published during her lifetime can be found in The Uncollected Dorothy Parker.

In total, an amazing collection of Dorothy Parker's writings. Highly recommended!
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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