Dorothy Parker

25 Books Guaranteed to Make You Laugh

Not to get too philosophical, but it’s hard to define what is truly funny. Is it something that has you falling on the floor laughing or something that has you chuckling inside while also pondering the absurdity of the human condition? What’s important is that humor works as a device that can make you laugh with reckless abandon, but also ponder this strange situation we call life. Not everything that’s funny has to start off with “Knock knock,” and these 25 books offer an opportunity to see how writers have used humor in different ways, to often-brilliant… Read More

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The 10 Best Weddings in Literature

I say this as someone who has written a book about going to weddings — Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guestout now from Riverhead — but that doesn’t mean I’m biased. It’s simply true: Weddings make for great scenes, unforgettable moments of high expectation, emotion, and drama — in fiction as well as in nonfiction. I’ve gathered a few of my favorites from books new and old (though not necessarily blue), along with my feelings on why these particular weddings make for great reading. … Read More

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Listen to 15 Literary Icons Reading Their Own Work

One of the most important experiences you can have with your favorite author is to hear them read aloud from their works. But many of us will never get the chance to see our most beloved writer in the flesh. So, after the jump is a collection of 15 writers — some alive, some long gone — reading their own words (all fiction, with the exception of William Faulkner, whose Nobel Prize speech is included because it’s now often taught alongside his novels and stories, and Joan Didion’s memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking).  … Read More

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20 Famous Authors as Dolls

How best to prove your adoration of a particular writer? Make a doll in their likeness, of course. Or if you’re a little less than crafty, buy one. Or, you know, just look at them on the Internet. This last bit you can accomplish right now. Yes, your favorite authors have been immortalized as everything from action figures to wooden works of art to paper dolls to LEGO figurines, and you’ll find 20 of them after the jump. As an added bonus, many of them are buyable, so if you’re still looking to fill your favorite bookish friend’s holiday stocking, look no further. But be prepared for them to think you’re slightly creepy. … Read More

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5 Essential Tips on Hosting a Successful Literary Holiday Party

As the holiday party season kicks up, people will be on the hunt for themes. One we’d like to suggest, a perennial Flavorwire favorite, is the Literary Cocktail Party. Everybody likes the Literary Holiday Party in theory, because in theory it involves a lot of fun, nerdy conversations about books held over delicious cocktails. Everything sparkles: the outfits, the cocktail glasses, the conversation. … Read More

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How to Drink Like Dorothy Parker

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Why Do We Treat Literature’s Male and Female Alcoholics So Differently?

This weekend, the Guardian ran an excerpt from a new book by the writer and critic Olivia Laing called The Trip to Echo Spring: Why Writers Drink. The book will not be out in the United States until December, but the excerpt was a hit on social media. Writers, depression, addiction: these are magical elements for public legacies. Scott Fitzgerald wouldn’t be recognizable without the drink, nor Hemingway. Both of them appear in Laing’s narrative, along with Tennessee Williams, John Cheever, John Berryman, and Raymond Carver. It sounds fascinating, and I can’t wait to read it. … Read More

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‘Vice’ Removes Controversial Female Writer Suicide Spread: Is the Sophomoric Publication Finally Growing Up?

An editorial fashion spread tells a story using images, not words. It’s the photographer’s job to tell that story: what she intended, what she hoped to convey. In Vice’s latest spread, female writers like Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Dorothy Parker stare down their own pending demise at their own hands. The story is pretty clear: the editors of Vice were more interested in getting attention at any cost than paying respectful tribute to women writers who committed suicide, and editorial taste came second to the lazy grab for page views. Following an overwhelmingly negative response across the Internet, the editors of Vice removed the feature. … Read More

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The Questionable Fates of Famous Authors’ Birthplaces

This week, we were surprised by the news that George Orwell’s Indian birthplace will be developed into a memorial. Why should that be so surprising, you ask? Well, because it’s not being turned into a memorial for George Orwell, but for the entirely deserving but somewhat more random Mahatma Gandhi. Though many authors’ birthplaces have been turned into museums or monuments to their lives, several have met with rather more questionable (and sometimes downright upsetting) fates. We investigate after the jump. … Read More

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Tournament of Books Organizers Pick the Winners of 12 Classic Literary Beefs

Today is the first day of The Morning News‘s epic annual Tournament of Books, an excellent and wordy alternative (or supplement) to March Madness for all us literary types. To celebrate, we asked the ToB’s organizers — the venerable Rosecrans Baldwin, Kevin Guilfoile, John Warner, and Andrew Womack — to act as judges for a few imaginary literary match-ups. Because who doesn’t want to imagine the results of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky throwing down? After the jump, find out who would win in a fight — Mailer or Vidal, Hemingway or Faulkner, Dorothy Parker or anybody, and more. Don’t agree? Argue your literary hearts out in the comments, and then be sure to get in on the real-life highbrow smackdown here. … Read More

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