A little known, rediscovered letter: an SOS from a woman trapped on a Swiss mountaintop in a TB colony with no idea how to escape—that woman being Dorothy Parker.
“Kids, I have started one thousand (1,000) letters to you, but they all through no will of mine got to sounding so gloomy and I was afraid of boring the combined tripe out of you, so I never sent them.” Thus starts a little-known and until now unpublished letter by Dorothy Parker from a Swiss mountaintop. Parker wrote the letter in September 1930 to Viking publishers Harold Guinzburg and George Oppenheimer—she went to France to write a novel for them and wound up in a TB colony in Switzerland. Parker refers to the letter as a “novelette,” yet there is nothing fictional about it. More accurately, the biting composition reads like a gossipy diary entry, typed out on Parker’s beautiful new German typewriter. She namedrops notable figures like Ernest Hemingway and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald while covering topics running from her various accidents and health problems to her opinions on dogs, literary critics and God. The writing is vintage Parker: uncensored, unedited, deliciously malicious, and certainly one of the most entertaining of her letters—or for that matter any letter—that you’ll ever read.
This edition features an introduction, notes, and annotations on notable figures by Parker biographer Marion Meade.
Dorothy Parker was born in West End, New Jersey, in 1893 and grew up in New York, attending a Catholic convent school and Miss Dana’s School in Morristown, New Jersey. In 1916 she sold some of her poetry to the editor… More about Dorothy Parker
“Parker was such a vicious gossip, and it’s fun to see her try to overcome her cabin fever and writer’s block with this name-dropping account of her adventures with her friends and/or frenemies.” –A. V. Club
Praise for Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell is This?: “So detailed is Meade’s book that this, one imagines, is the last time a biographer will need to explain why so talented a writer could at the same time be so nasty a human being.” –Publishers Weekly
”A compelling and somewhat frightening tale . . . Meade is also to be applauded for a great feat of detective work.” -Cosmopolitan