“A Telephone Call” by Dorothy Parker

by kattomic

“A Telephone Call” by Dorothy Parker


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Sometimes he’s just not that into you! “A Telephone Call” was written in 1930, a year after Parker’s short story “Big Blonde” won the O. Henry Award. Told entirely in an increasingly desperate monologue, this is the story of  a woman waiting for a man to call like he promised he would. He said he would call at five and now it’s after seven and …the narrator is reduced to making bargains with God.  Parker was a hard-drinking liberal whose association with causes like Civil Rights (she willed her estate to Martin Luther King’s foundation) got her branded a Communist. Known for her wit, she despised the label “wisecracker.” A prolific poet as well as short story writer, she got her start writing theater criticism for Vanity Fair and book reviews for the New Yorker (under the pen name “Constant Reader”). Writer Harlan Ellison has frequently spoken of how important her encouragement was when she praised his early work, particularly his short story “Daniel White for the Greater Good.” Parker was a woman beset by demons—she tried to kill herself seven times—but in her fiction, she was invincible.  You can read “A Telephone Call” here.

See you tomorrow!