Dorothy Parker, the brilliant, tragic and devastatingly funny writer/poet/brat, is favored with a fine, fizzy new literary treatment in Kevin C. Fitzpatrick's just-published Under the Table: A Dorothy Parker Cocktail Guide. An elaborately structured appreciation framed around Parker's diligent dipsomania, it's essentially a selection of entries centered on the cocktails and characters who helped define Parker's marvelously wicked persona (the first thing she did every morning was “brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue”). Following Parker from Manhattan speakeasies to Hollywood cocktail lounges, it's an offbeat and boundlessly amusing cultural safari. The 4 p.m. reading at Book Soup is preceded by a two-hour bus tour of the writer's local homes and haunts, led by Fitzpatrick and sponsored by Jazz Age L.A. and the Dorothy Parker Society. Parker, a twice Oscar-nominated screenwriter, spent a considerable amount of time in Tinseltown and, of course, hated Los Angeles for decades even before the ghastly 1963 suicide of her husband, Alan Campbell, in West L.A. One of the legitimate titans of American literature, Parker herself offered perhaps the best assessment of a chronically bittersweet life, writing, “This would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.” Tour departs from Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Sat., Dec. 14, 1:30 p.m.; $49. (310) 659-3110, Book signing at Book Soup, 4 p.m.; free, book is $16.95.

Sat., Dec. 14, 4 p.m., 2013

LA Weekly