The Portable Dorothy Parker

DEAN: So, uh, what are you reading?
RORY: The Portable Dorothy Parker.

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) was an American poet, short story writer, newspaper critic, and satirist, famous for her acerbic wit and her membership of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of writers known for their hard-drinking, wisecracking ways.

The Portable Dorothy Parker, a collection of her poems, stories, and journalism pieces, was first published in 1944. It was first revised in 1973, with an introduction by Brendan Gill, a critic for The New Yorker born in Hartford, and educated at Yale. I believe Rory is reading the 1976 Penguin edition.

Rory greatly admires Parker’s wit, and we know Amy Sherman-Palladino does too, because her production company is named Dorothy Parker Drank Here – the logo can be seen at the end of every Gilmore Girls episode.

The fact that Rory takes a book everywhere, even to a dance with her boyfriend, may indicate that although her love of reading is perfectly genuine, she is using books as a coping mechanism in social situations, possibly using them to keep others at a distance.

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