Dorothy Parker

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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20 Great Writers on the Art of Revision

It’s a new year, and hopeful souls around the world are working diligently on their plans to revise — their health, their attitudes, their lives. But who knows more about the art of revision than great writers? Prepare to be… Read More

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20 Excellent Photos of Famous Authors Partying

Whether they be bad boys (or bad girls), dirty old men or just legendary party animals, there’s no denying that the literary set knows how to get down. From dance parties to book parties to whatever’s going on in that car, writers are adept at letting off steam, and so this year, we thought we’d get a little New Year’s celebration inspiration from a few of our favorite authors. And hey, if you’re still trying to figure out your signature cocktail at this late hour, you can model that on your favorite writer too. After the jump, raise a glass with everyone from Ernest Hemingway to Rita Dove to Nora Ephron. Happy New Year’s Eve, everybody. … Read More

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Hilariously Self-Deprecating Quotes from Your Favorite Authors

Everyone’s self-deprecating once in a while — even literary geniuses. Or perhaps, especially literary geniuses? After all, they know the exact right words to string together to tease themselves, talking down their bodies of work or their personal histories — though usually, let’s be fair, tempering it with a “but” at the end. These people have to sell books, after all. After the jump, a few of our favorite authors make fun of themselves, as gently as the ego demands. Let us know your favorite, or add one we missed in the comments! … Read More

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Adorable Pictures of Famous Writers and Their Pets

A dog may be man’s best friend, but some men make better friends than others. To us, it’s always seemed as though pets attach themselves to artists (and vice versa, of course) in greater numbers than to regular folks — or at least that almost every artist we know needs a furry friend to talk to. Maybe it’s the pull of a constant, silent listener to bounce ideas against, maybe it’s because of the boundless soul of the writer, maybe it’s a coincidence. Either way, we think pictures of famous authors and their pets are pretty adorable, so we’ve collected a few of them here. See some of our favorite writers with their dogs and cats (and peacocks, guess who) after the jump, and if we missed your favorite literary pair of man and beast, add them in the comments. … Read More

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The 10 Grumpiest Authors in Literary History

The new issue of The Believer features an interview with the late Maurice Sendak. Inspired by his “legendary crossness,” we’ve rounded up a list of the grumpiest authors of all… Read More

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Famous Last Words: 15 Authors’ Epitaphs

In this the spookiest of months, we find ourselves occupied with the world’s darker themes, and we got to wondering — what words have sent famous men and women of letters into the great unknown? Or perhaps more precisely, which words were chosen to honor them for eternity? From the tongue-in-cheek to the ponderously serious, from the knightly to the poetic, and even one that doubles as a grave robber’s curse, we’re fascinated by the epitaphs of famous authors, so we’ve collected a few of them here for your shivering pleasure.… Read More

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Writers Praising Writers: 15 of the Best Compliments from One Author to Another

We all know authors can insult one another with aplomb, but do those bitter wordsmiths ever have anything nice to say? Well, yes, of course. If we had to guess, we’d say that most authors’ biggest fans are other authors, who might understand a given piece of literature better than any mere mortal — or they might just be more likely to write about it. In the excellent collection Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story, which hit shelves last week, 20 famous writers choose and introduce the short stories from the periodical that moved and thrilled them. In honor of the book’s publication, we’ve put together a few of our favorite author-on-author compliments. Click through to spread the love, and if we’ve missed your favorite compliment, add to our list in the comments. … Read More

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Dorothy Parker’s Guide to Life

Today marks the 119th birthday of poet, critic, and political activist Dorothy Parker. Known for her sharp wisecracks, biting criticism, and caustic social commentary, her wit was a breath of Oscar Wilde air in the 20th century. Parker rose to acclaim while at Vanity Fair, where she wrote theater criticism. It was during this time that she became one of the founding members of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of esteemed New York writers, critics, and actors — who were equally well-known for their active social lives. After moving to The New Yorker, Parker continued to write criticism as well as sharp, humorous poems. Later in life, she became a left-wing political activist and was placed on the Hollywood blacklist.

After the jump, we celebrate the abundance of wisecracks, witticisms, and pearls of wisdom that Parker bestowed on the world by compiling her thoughts on topics such as men, money, writing, style, and love. … Read More

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Doodling on the Faces of Famous Writers

When video director and editor Michael Daye found himself at home with a box of postcards of 100 famous authors and nothing to do, he decided to take a Sharpie and have a little fun. Doodling on the faces of the defenseless writers, Daye created a series of often charming artworks of his own — sometimes the augmentations are relevant to the author they decorate, and sometimes they’re just for show, but we love the way he has taken these iconic faces and made them his own. Click through to see some of our favorites from the project, and head over to Daye’s Tumblr to check out even more. … Read More

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