Dorothy Elmhisrt Straight, born on may 25, 1958, in Washington D.C. Wrote a book at the period of only four, making she the youngest female released author. She holds a Guinness world record because that it.

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The publication is called “How the civilization Began” and also can still it is in bought top top Amazon together a provided or collectible hardcover edition.

The publication is response to a question posed by her mother: “Who make the world?”. She wrote and illustrated the in 1962 and it was published in 1964, two years later.


Dorothy originates from a an extremely rich and prominent household founded by john Whitney, who pertained to America in 1635 native London, England.


Book cover art


Dorothy was called after she grandmother, Dorothy Payne Whitney, who was recognized as a philanthropist and social activist.

Her father, Michael Whitney Straight, was a novelist and patron that the arts — and interestingly a spy because that the infamous KGB.

Her mom was Belinda C. Straight (née Crompton) a psychiatrist and also famous civil rights activist. She was an owner and also founder of a private exercise in Washington D.C, wherein according come the Boston world she specialized in dealing with victims of sexual abuse.


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Dorothy Payne Whitney in 1915.


Coming native a family members inclined towards writing and also art, Dorothy was exposed come it from beforehand age. The truth that her mommy is a psychologist can explain the question that she inquiry her.

Additionally, Kirkus evaluate reports “When she to be 4 year old, a pre-kindergarten pupil, she school placed on a production of Noye’s Fludde in the Benjamin Britten adaptation. This is believed to be responsible for several of her principles in her book.”


Michael Straight’s Georgetown house until 1976. Photograph by AgnosticPreachersKid – CC through SA 3.0


When her mother asked she the question around the creator of the world, firstly she did no give any type of answer. However, after ~ mother’s insistence, Dorothy answer in writing and drawing, developing the publication that would give her a special location in person history.

According come Kirkus Review, she finished she whole book in only one evening.

After seeing what your daughter had made, she parents were so thrilled the they sent it come Pantheon books who released it. Together Kirkus evaluation states: “Her ide of God’s activities during the creation are nothing if not finish — after inventing the jungle and its wild animals, he went on to pins and thread, birds and also bees.” This publication offers us a complete story that Genesis from a child’s perspective.


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The production of Adam by Michelangelo.


One that the just sources offering an ext information on Dorothy and her success is The brand-new York Times, which has actually published a digitized version of an short article from September 12, 1964, someday after publication, through the title “Author, 6, celebrate Her an initial Book.”

The biggest an enig shared in the post is the fact that her parents never ever told she the story of how the civilization was made.

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New York times reports: “We were amazed in ~ the different ideas Dorothy put right into the book,” she father, Michael Straight, added. “At the end of the story, she stated ‘and then God went to sleep, and slept for 40 totality days,’ and also she shown it with a snapshot of God in bed attract yellow pajamas.”

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Unfortunately, Dorothy go not proceed writing later in life. Her first book stays her last, yet this does not make her any type of less necessary of a figure.


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