This week I've been enjoying the writings of Dorothy Parker. In 1944 a volume compiled over two dozen of Parker's short stories and selected poems with an introduction by Somerset Maugham. It was released in the
I listened to the audio. It’s interesting what you might take from a book if you listen instead of read (what it is you take and what you miss I’m not quite sure, an interesting blog post on the subject by Eva, who reads a lot, here). The first story, Big Blonde, is a perfect piece of layered story telling. The final piece, A Phone Call, is wonderfully read by
legend Shirley Booth, heart rendering in its emotion. A lot of audiobooks
become unbearable when an actor really tries to make a mark, putting on
ridiculous voices for different characters and screaming some parts so you need
to be on constant volume control. On the other side of the spectrum, some
readers go for a one pitch monotonous grumble, especially if trying to capture
the attitude of one of the hard-boiled or beat writers. When the story is told
truly its just right, and what a nice touch if the author does the reading.
In the 30s Parker travelled to
to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there included two Academy Award
nominations. In the 30s and 40s she became an increasingly vocal civil rights
advocate and a frequent critic of those in authority. She was listed as a
Communist in the McCarthy era and was placed on the Hollywood Hollywood
blacklist by the studio bosses.