Tuesday July 19, 2016

Who really makes the jokes that Dorothy Parker gets credit for?

By Joan Milligan

Ohioan Dawn Powell, a best-selling author and satirist, has been largely forgotten. This summer consider discovering what critics call her "keen wit" and her "exquisitely judged and timed" comedic voice. Insider Diana Trilling reportedly said that Powell was the "answer to the old question 'Who really makes the jokes that Dorothy Parker gets credit for?'"

Powell (1896 - 1965) had a miserable childhood in Mount Gilead, Ohio, but her creative abilities won her a way out. She attended Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio on a scholarship. After graduation in 1918 she moved to Manhattan, becoming a member of the Lost Generation literary circle. She wrote 15 novels, hundreds of short stories, and 10 plays. 

Check out these Dawn Powell books available at Roesch Library:

Dawn Powell: Novels, 1930-1942, Library of America, 2001. 

Dawn Powell: Novels, 1944-1962, Library of America, 2001. 

Dawn Powell at Her Best, edited with an introduction by Tim Page:This includes the novels Dance Night and Turn, Magic Wheel, as well as nine short stories.

—Joan Milligan, Special Collections Cataloger


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