Books: Brittle Nell THE LATE MRS. DOROTHY PARKER

by Leslie Frewin Macmillan; 345 pages; $22.95

When Dorothy Parker remarried her ex-husband Alan Campbell in 1950, she looked around during the reception and said, "People who haven't talked to each other in years are on speaking terms again today, including the bride and groom." A corrosive reviewer, Parker once slated a hapless author as a "writer for the ages. For the ages of four to eight." She could be equally cruel to her nearest and dearest. When Alexander Woollcott, a fellow jouster at the Algonquin Round Table, recalled an afternoon of book signing with the smug rhetorical question "What is so rare as a Woollcott first -...

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