Not that kind of girl
Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What Shes "Learned" by Lena DunhamThere is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, writes Lena Dunham, and it certainly takes guts to share the stories that make up her first book, Not That Kind of Girl. These are stories about getting your butt touched by your boss, about friendship and dieting (kind of) and having two existential crises before the age of 20. Stories about travel, both successful and less so, and about having the kind of sex where you feel like keeping your sneakers on in case you have to run away during the act. Stories about proving yourself to a room of 50-year-old men in Hollywood and showing up to an outlandishly high-fashion event with the crustiest red nose you ever saw. Fearless, smart, and as heartbreakingly honest as ever, Not That Kind of Girl establishes Lena Dunham as more than a hugely talented director, actress and producer-it announces her as a fresh and vibrant new literary voice.
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I've had lots of friends recommend it to me, but I just haven't gotten around to watching it. To be honest, I sort of feel like I probably already watch enough TV. Did that sound snobby? Guys, I love TV. I just mean that I probably watch too much already. So, when I found out Dunham had a book coming out, and everyone kept saying it was a similar vibe to her show, I was stoked to check it out. Typically at some point while reading a book, if I really like it, I'll flip to the back cover to read more about the author.
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Learn From My Mistakes, Ladies is a solid theme, and one gets the sense that, even with such a sizable platform, Dunham needed a theme. This is a common conundrum for essayists, the expectation of a singular purpose. Dunham, for the most part, succeeds in doing this. As the book progresses, we learn that she harbors fears of appendicitis, leprosy, headaches, milk, tinnitus and lamp dust. Dunham chronicles her attempts to lose her virginity and lose weight.
Only 28 now, Ms. Dunham brings a similar candor to the story of her own life, getting as naked in print as her alter ego Hannah often does in the flesh. If Nora Ephron a mentor to Ms. Dunham and one of the people to whom this book is dedicated came across in her books as your sophisticated, big-city aunt, knowing, worldly and savvy about just about everything, then Ms. Dunham sounds more like your high-strung niece: confiding, nervy and earnest.