Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967), witty and courageous, got her start by writing theatre criticism for Vanity Fair. Known for her acid wit, she was one of the founding members of the Algonquin Roundtable, an exclusive group of eminent New York City writers in the early twentieth century.

Parker also wrote screenplays and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay for A Star is Born. Though her life was turbulent, she made an indelible mark on American literature. Her most noted stories and poems include Big Blonde, Enough Rope, Here Lies, and Laments for the Living.

More about Dorothy Parker on this site

Major Works

Autobiographies and Biographies about Dorothy Parker 

More Information

Articles, News, Etc.


Dorothy Parker middle age

Dorothy Parker Quotes

“The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.”

“Creativity is a wild mind & a disciplined eye.”

“I’ve never been a millionaire but I just know I’d be darling at it.”

“This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” (on The Cardinal’s Mistress by Benito Mussolini)

“I hate writing, I love having written.”

“I can’t write five words but that I change seven.”

“The last time I was early for anything.” (On being born prematurely)

“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”

“Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.”

“Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.”

Dorothy Parker young“I’m never going to accomplish anything; that’s perfectly clear to me. I’m never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don’t do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don’t even do that any more.”

“Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.”

“The two most beautiful words in the English language are ‘cheque enclosed.'”

“It always seems impossible until it is done.”

“It’s a small apartment, I’ve barely enough room to lay my hat and a few friends.”

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

“Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common.”

What time the gifted lady took
Away from paper, pen, and book,
She spent in amorous dalliance
(They do those things so well in France). — Parker on George Sand

“Don’t look at me in that tone of voice.”

“What fresh hell is this?”

“Brevity is the soul of lingerie.”

“That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.”

“This wasn’t just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.”

“Take me or leave me; or, as is the usual order of things, both.”

“That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can’t say ‘No’ in any of them.”

Dorothy Parker at work“Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.
Four be the things I’d been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.
Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.
Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.”


Dorothy Parker on writing and revising

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, The Literary Ladies Guide receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *