Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Lonley Doll

This is a picture (a self portrait actually) of photographer and writer Dare Wright, author of The Lonely Doll books. These stories are about a doll named Edith and two stuffed bears, Mr. Bear and little bear and the illustrations are black and white still shots. (sort of Cindy Shermanesque). If you are not familiar with these classics, you must look into them. I have many original copies and always loved them. My favorite is A Gift from the Lonley Doll, in which Edith Knits Mr. Bear a very, very long scarf for Christmas, and....well you will just have to read the book to find out what happens. There are so many images from these books burned into my memory. In one story, Edith breaks Mr. Bear's mantel clock and she and little bear run away from "home." The picture of them thinking about crossing the ominous Brooklyn Bridge is one of my favorites, and later in that story they are seen sleeping by a trash can on a dirty city sidewalk. And then there is one story in which Edith gets a kitten, I love that one too. Wright used a real kitten in the photos which resulted in an even more interesting juxtaposition of real life and play. Wright's parents were divorced when she was three years old and she was separated from her older brother and her father. Even though many of the stories in The Lonley Doll books surround her dark fears of punishment and abandonment, they are still very charming (or maybe that is why they are so charming).

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