Spotlight on: Lena Dunham

‘Not That Kind of Girl’ is the title of actor and writer Lena Dunham’s new memoir, which has announced her as a fresh and vibrant literary voice.

Actress, writer and 'it' girl Lena Dunham and a copy of her new memoir 'Not that Kind of Girl:  a young woman tells you what she's "learned" '

Actress, writer and ‘it’ girl Lena Dunham and a copy of her new memoir ‘Not that Kind of Girl: a young woman tells you what she’s “learned” ‘

If you’ve ever seen her in the HBO series ‘Girls’, which she writes, directs and stars in as lead character Hannah Horvath, you may have wondered whether or not she is actually not acting but just being Lena Dunham. Both women reside in Brooklyn, talk incredibly fast with wit, smarts and brutal honesty and wish to establish themselves as writers and ‘voices of their generations’.

Even if Lena Dunham’s real life is the basis for Hannah Horvath and all of the other characters from Girls, she is a talented writer who is funny enough, smart enough and genuine enough to justify a memoir at 28 years of age.

Lena’s book is an easy and a fun read. It’s a collection of personal essays (and many hand-drawn illustrations), with each essay based on an episode from her life which she defines as ‘part of making one’s way into the world’. Her life experiences are varied and cover a lot of ground: falling in love; feeling alone; being ten pounds overweight despite only eating health food; thoughts on death and dying; the joy of wasting time and having to prove yourself in a room full of men twice your age.

Lena constantly refers to her mum and dad throughout her book, using their experience and back stories to shade and colour her anecdotes. Both her parents are established artists and there is no doubt their support and creative nurturing have helped Lena’s talents to flourish. Lena has devoted two chapters to her parents in her book:  ’15 Things I’ve Learned from My Mother’ and ’17 Things I Learned from My Father’.

Some gems from her Mother:

  • ‘It’s okay to ignore the dress code if you’re an “artist.” People will think you’re operating on a higher plane and feel suddenly self-conscious.’
  • ‘Why spend $200 once a week on therapy when you can spend $150 once a year on a psychic?’
  • ‘Keep your friends close. Buy your enemies something cool.’

And these from her father:

  • ‘There are no bad thoughts, only bad actions.’
  • ‘All children are amazing artists. It’s the grown-ups you have to worry about.’
  • ‘A rising tide lifts all boats. That being said, it’s horrible when people you hate get things you want.’

If you would like to read ‘Not that Kind of Girl’, or watch the TV series ‘Girls’, both items are available to borrow from the Tea Tree Gully Library. You can also place a hold on both items here

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