Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dolls Remembered

Below is a guest post by Madonna Dries Christensen, compiler of the stories that make up the new book Dolls Remembered. Several of the 60 contributors to this book are frequent guests of Foreign Quang, including Janice, Jill, Auntie M., The Queen of Quang herself (that would be me) and the lovely 6-year old Juliah whose photo frequently graces my sidebar. If you've ever had a treasured doll, this book is sure to bring back long-forgotten memories. Don't be surprised if you find yourself smiling in recognition of some of the dolls remembered, or maybe even shedding a tear or two!

The book can be purchased at, or by following the amazon link to the right.------------> GO TO TOP OF PAGE ON RIGHT SIDEBAR

Dolls Remembered


As touchstones to the past, dolls validate childhood, a span of years that often seem like a fragmented moments in time. With their life-like faces, blemished complexions, and snarled hair, childhood dolls hold sway with a magical power that rarely wanes, and often grows.

From this charming anthology featuring more than 60 reminiscences, readers will learn that dolls can make––or break––friendships. Dolls are enjoyed alone or with a friend; they fuel creativity and imagination. Dolls teach sharing, nurturing, and loyalty; they assuage loneliness and hurt feelings; they calm fears and keep secrets. Dolls teach values and lessons––to adults as well as children. Dolls share adventures with their owners, and without them. When one girl outgrew her favorite doll but kept it on her bed, her friends repeatedly “dollnapped” it. For years, the doll showed up at unlikely events.

Separately, two girls brought a treasured doll with them to America when they fled Nazi Europe with their family. Another girl lost her doll to that war. One girl disowned the doll she received for Christmas, while the same type doll was yearned for by others. More than one doll met an untimely fate. A childhood doll softened a poignant reunion between two sisters after a rift had kept them apart for several years. One woman became reunited with a childhood doll through a serendipitous circumstance.

It’s not surprising that a doll representing the world’s sweetheart, Shirley Temple, was highly desired by several girls. Even people who have no knowledge of dolls can identify a Shirley Temple by her dimpled cheeks and perfect blonde ringlets. Oddly, no one offered memories about Barbie Millicent Roberts, the buxom blonde who turned 50 this year and is still as nubile as Lolita. Priced at three dollars in 1959, the doll world had not seen anything like the fashionable Barbie.

In the vignettes revealed here, not all dolls are pretty––except in the eyes of the beholder. Not all dolls were wanted; some were disappointing; not all became favorites, but each is memorable.

All royalties go to Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia.


  1. Thanks, Randi, for posting the info about my new book. With all due credit to the many women (and little Juliah) who shared their stories, it's a lovely collection.

  2. This sounds like a lovely book. I have a special place in my heart for those dolls that get children through difficult times. I'm going to check it out. Thanks! By the way, I always wanted a Shirley Temple doll. Love those curls:)

  3. Auntie M: You're so very welcome. I'm sure that the stories will inspire many women to pen their own and maybe there'll even be a volume II someday.

    septembermom: Do you have a story to tell? About dolls that get children through difficult times? Oh, and Shirley Temple! What a cutie. Perhaps she was the beginning of patterning our dolls after celebrities, who knows?


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