Dare Wright

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Dare Wright
Born (1914-12-03)December 3, 1914
Thornhill, Ontario
Died January 25, 2001(2001-01-25) (aged 86)
Manhattan, New York
Occupation Photographer, author, model
Nationality Canadian American
Period 1957–1981
Genre Children's literature

Dare Wright (December 3, 1914 – January 25, 2001) was a Canadian–American children's author, model and photographer.


Born in Thornhill, Ontario, Canada, Wright spent most of her childhood in Cleveland, Ohio. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she was raised by her mother, the portrait artist Edith Stevenson Wright, while her brother, Blaine, went to live with his father, Ivan Wright, a theater critic in New York City. The siblings did not meet again until Dare moved to New York City in her twenties.

Wright's mother died in 1975 and her brother in 1985.[1]

After that she withdrew into seclusion and alcoholism in her apartment just off Fifth Avenue.[2] Wright died on January 25, 2001 at the age of 86 in Manhattan.[3] She had been admitted to Goldwater Memorial Hospital on Roosevelt Island in May 1995 after suffering respiratory failure and being placed on a ventilator.


In 1957, she photographed her childhood Lenci doll, Edith, along with two teddy bears bought at FAO Schwarz, for her first children's book, titled The Lonely Doll. The book made The New York Times Best Seller list for children's books. In November 2010, The British Newspaper The Guardian named The Lonely Doll one of the 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of all time.[4] It was followed by eighteen other stories. Out of print for many years, it was reissued in 1998, introducing Wright to a new generation of readers. Make Me Real, which features another of Wright's childhood dolls, and Ocracoke in The Fifties, her only book written for adults, have been published posthumously.


Dare Wright's photographs were exhibited for the first time in 2012 by Fred Torres Collaborations.


  • The Lonely Doll. Doubleday, (1957) - Kirkus Start recipient "will be pet of the nursery"[5]
  • Holiday for Edith and the Bears. Doubleday, (1958)
  • The Little One. Doubleday, (1959)
  • The Doll and the Kitten. Doubleday, (1960)
  • Date with London. Random House, (1961)
  • The Lonely Doll Learns a Lesson. Doubleday, (1961)
  • Lona, a Fairy Tale. Random House, (1963)
  • Edith and Mr. Bear. Random House, (1964)
  • Take Me Home. Random House, (1965)
  • A Gift from the Lonely Doll. Random House, (1966)
  • Look at a Gull. Random House, (1967) - "Against striking full-page photographs focused on descriptive and dramatic essentials, a gull tells the story of his life. As the simple rhythmic text takes over, the reader sheds his distrust of the method of telling and his assumed identity becomes quite natural....Come fly away with me somewhere between nature study and poetry."[6]
  • Edith and Big Bad Bill. Random House, (1968)
  • Look at a Colt. Random House, (1969)
  • The Kitten's Little Boy. Four Winds Press, (1971)
  • Edith and Little Bear Lend a Hand. Random House, (1972) - "Fans of Edith and her ursine companions may find them adorable in beads and fringe and miniature picket signs, but we'd prefer our ecology lessons with more substance and less fancy wrapping."[7]
  • Look at a Calf. Random House, (1974)
  • Look at a Kitten. Random House, (1975)
  • Edith and Midnight. Doubleday, (1978)
  • Edith and the Duckling. Doubleday, (1981)

Books still in print[edit]

  • The Lonely Doll. Doubleday, (2013) First time issued in paperback.[8]
  • Holiday For Edith and the Bears. Dare Wright Media (2013)
  • The Doll and the Kitten. Dare Wright Media (2013)
  • Lona A Fairy Tale. Dare Wright Media (2013)
  • Edith and the Duckling. Dare Wright Media (2013)
  • Edith And Midnight. Dare Wright Media (2013)
  • Edith And Mr. Bear. Dare Wright Media (2013)
  • The Doll And The Kitten. Dare Wright Media (2013)
  • A Gift From The Lonely Doll. Dare Wright Media (2013) - "Wright's signature b&w photographs evoke a voyeuristic feel."[9]
  • The Lonely Doll Learns A Lesson. Dare Wright Media (2013)

Posthumously Published[edit]

  • Make Me Real. Xlibris. (2007)
  • Ocracoke in the Fifties. John F. Blair, (2006)


  1. ^ Nathan, Jean – The Search for Dare Wright: The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll". Picador, 2004.
  2. ^ Nathan, Jean – The Search for Dare Wright: The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll". Picador, 2004.
  3. ^ "Dare Wright – Children's Author, 86". The New York Times. February 3, 2001. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  4. ^ Kellaway, Kate (November 28, 2010). "The 10 best illustrated children's books". The Guardian (London). 
  5. ^ "The Lonely Doll". https://www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. Retrieved 15 July 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  6. ^ "Look At A Gull". https://www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. Retrieved 15 July 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  7. ^ "Edith & Little Bear Lend A Hand". https://www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. Retrieved 15 July 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  8. ^ "Lonely Doll". http://www.publishersweekly.com. PWxyz LLC.  External link in |website= (help);
  9. ^ "A Gift from the Lonely Doll". http://www.publishersweekly.com. PWxyz LLC. Retrieved 15 July 2015.  External link in |website= (help)

External links[edit]