Podcast #4: Dorothy Parker

Our fourth and (so far) frothiest and festivest podcast, produced and presented by Susan Stone.

This time it’s your beloved co-host Florian Duijsens revealing some lesser-known sides to the late, great Dorothy Parker. Plus the rest of the gang getting fizzy on a popular Berlin beverage.

Also available on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic, and soon to come from other podcast purveyors.

Show notes:


Here’s a young Dorothy, contemplating.


Here she is with the Algonquin table crew.


And a sad “awaiting the stork” photo.

Watch A Star Is Born.

Listen to an interview with legendary author and broadcaster Studs Terkel.

Listen to “Big Blonde” in full, read by Cynthia Nixon.

And Tallulah Bankhead reading the great “A Telephone Call”.

Plus more Dorothy recordings.

Von Herzen

And here are some of the accoutrements used in preparing the show.

Speaking of The Portable Dorothy Parker, here’s The Portable Dorothy Parker. Enjoy.

Our theme music is “Little Lily Swing” by Tri-Tachyon. Thanks for tuning in! Check back in January for Episode 5.

Dead Ladies Show #10

With the greatest pleasure we announce that 24 January will see the 10th Dead Ladies Show, which will both explore new territory and revisit more familiar dead ladies of yore. For this august occasion, dedicated to the lives of Claire WaldoffLucia Berlin and Dorothy Parker, the Literary Colloquium Berlin will open its hallowed halls to celebrate three admirable women of yesteryear. PLUS our show kicks off a special exhibition by our friend Martina Minette Dreier spotlighting dead lady artists. A real special snowflake of a hum-dinging Dead Ladies Show, in other words.

Your beloved hosts will return to two of their absolute favourites, writer Dorothy Parker and singer Claire Waldoff. (Only we’ll be doing it better this time.) Then we have one of Berlin’s best writer-translators, Antje Rávic Strubel, to introduce a rediscovered mistress of the short story, Lucia Berlin. All wrapped up by a special guest performance by the wonderful Sigrid Grajek, chanteuse extraordinaire, with live piano accompaniment.

For one night only, and an entry fee of €8/€5, please join us on the shores of the Wannsee for entertainment, enlightenment, art, song, literature, socializing, food, drinks of both persuasions, and three fabulous dead dames. If ever there was an occasion that called for overdressing, this is it – but, of course, feel free to wear any old thing as long you as make the journey out west to help us celebrate!

Does DOROTHY PARKER even need an introduction? Everyone’s favourite witty woman gave us poetry, criticism, short stories, satire – and screenplays, until she made it onto everyone’s favourite blacklist for her political activities. Never out of print to this day, she was one of the original members of the board of the New Yorker in 1925. This was a lady so cool she bequeathed her estate to Martin Luther King. Florian Duijsens has been studying her life for years, ready to give us all the juicy details in English.

LUCIA BERLIN has been making posthumous waves after a selection of her stories hit the New York Times bestseller list in its second week of publication two years ago. Growing up in mining camps and working as a cleaning woman and switchboard operator, among other jobs, Berlin raised four sons and struggled with her health – all the while writing eight volumes of short stories and eventually teaching creative writing. Her work garnered huge critical acclaim but little financial success, so her rediscovery is a vindication of sorts. Antje Rávic Strubel recently translated her selected stories and gives us the low-down in German.

Claire Waldoff
Zentralbild Berlin

In 1906, singer CLAIRE WALDOFF pawned her gold watch and moved to Berlin to become a star, and that’s just what she did. A truly beloved icon with her own street name, she’s still remembered for her comic songs and for appearing on stage in trousers. She coyly chronicled lesbian life in Weimar-era Berlin in her autobiography, learned the local dialect from painter Heinrich Zille, helped out a young Marlene Dietrich, and portrayed strong working-class women with a risqué sense of humour. Katy Derbyshire introduces her in English, with live renderings by Sigrid Grajek.

The show also sees the opening of an exhibition by MARTINA MINETTE DREIER, entitled “I am no bird, no net ensnares me” and depicting her ancestors from art history, portraits of women scratched out of old wood with ballpoint accents. Dreier’s sketches of writers from the LCB’s “Sensitivities” festival will be on display as well – along with one very special portrait of a living lady.

Dead Ladies Show #1

The Dead Ladies Show not only presents a fabulous excuse to dress up in faux-fox furs and other early 20th-century accoutrements, it is the first in a series of very Berlin events exploring the collision of feminism and fabulousness, glamor and genius.

This inaugural Dead Ladies Show celebrates Irmgard Keun, Dorothy Parker, and Pola Negri. Though long departed from the world’s stage, these artists have never stopped inspiring this evening’s hosts, Katy Derbyshire (translator extraordinaire), Florian Duijsens (SAND, Asymptote), and Daniela Dröscher (author of the novel Pola).

After a night of short bilingual readings and presentations, DJ Johnny Stardust will pay tribute to other spirited jazz, blues, and country women of yore, so be sure to wear your dancing shoes. The cover charge is €4, and there will be a signature ‘Dead Lady’ cocktail in Dorothy Parker’s honor.