A Woman to Know: Dare Wright

Most creators writing for children have deep emotional lives that people don't suspect. — publisher Eden Edwards

(image via Dare Wright)


If you're in need of a new Wikipedia rabbit hole, read this bevy of "The Lonely Doll" remembrances below. Fall into the deliciously dark and haunting vortex of Dare Wright Internet.

When she published "The Lonely Doll" in 1957, Dare Wright was still living at home with her controlling mother. She made her own name in the fashion industry, modeling and photo assisting and even appearing on the cover of Cosmo. Her personal work was dollhouse-inspired: perfect and small and shadowy.

But it's the eerie photo spreads in her oddly *adult* children's book series that have solidified her legacy as a patron saint for the Lydia Deetz wannabes, Halloween pinners and dark lipsticked weirdos. And Dare of course styled them all herself, with meticulous attention to detail — even the scenes involving teddy bears spanking Barbies.

Kim Gordon and Anna Sui admit they own copies but won't share them with their children. As David Coleman wrote for The New York Times, "Many women — artistic women in particular — have discovered that they share this intense ambivalence, part warm and fuzzy nostalgia, part chilling discomfort, about The Lonely Doll."

Add to your library list:

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Hear more:

  • Dolls (This American Life)

** Thank you to Koa Beck for suggesting Dare as a woman to know. And for supporting this newsletter! <3 **

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