Americas Wittiest Woman at Lanier Library Tuesday, November 16

Published 4:26 pm Friday, November 5, 2010

South Carolina author Norm Powers will bring Dorothy Parker – Jazz Age Muse to Tryons Lanier Library on Tuesday, November 16, at 12 p.m. as part of the librarys Brown Bag Lunch series.

Powers, whose novel End Credits appeared last year, is also the author of the play Dottie & Fred, about the relationship between Parker and fellow Algonquin Round Table stalwart Robert Benchley. The play has been given a staged reading at Manhattans The Directors Company and at Duke Universitys Triangle Theater Festival.

Dubbed Americas Wittiest Woman by the New York Times between the two world wars, Parker was famous for her often stinging witticisms and satiric light verse.

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But her more important literary output of award-winning short stories, essays and plays is often overlooked. She was a regular contributor to The New Yorker, whose short story Big Blonde won the OHenry Prize for best short story of 1929. She was also nominated for an Academy Award for co-authoring the screenplay for the 1937 film A Star Is Born.

In later years, she was active in anti-fascist and socialist causes, for which she was briefly blacklisted during the McCarthy era. She outlived nearly all of her Algonquin Round Table peers, passing away in 1967 and leaving her entire estate to the NAACP.

The Lanier Library in Tryon is one of fewer than 20 subscription libraries remaining in the United States. Named for the southern poet Sidney Lanier, it has occupied the same site overlooking downtown Tryon since 1905 and offers an ongoing calendar of readings and other literary events.

Norm Powers fiction has been published by the Hub City Writers Project, most recently in the Hub City anthology Expecting Goodness. He is also a regular contributor to the arts and culture monthly Bold Life and is a contributing reviewer for the New York Journal of Books. He is now at work on his second novel.