Thursday, May 7, 2015

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

In a collection of essays, Lena Dunham, creator and star of HBO’s Girls, recounts the life  experiences and the hard learned “lessons” of her not altogether misspent youth - from bad relationships and problematic online behavior, to body issues and family/friend dramatics (among other things).  It’s easy to see early on that, while her struggles are not altogether terribly dramatic, the emotions behind them will resonate with young and “new” adults finding their way, as well as women who can remember what it was like to live through.

Her prose is frank and witty, and her observations are sharp.  While I can’t say I enjoyed all essays in Dunham’s collection - some were fast paced reads for me, while I found others dragged a bit - much of the book funny, thoughtful, and painfully accurate.  Dunham doesn’t skirt tough or potentially unflattering moments of her past, and that kind of honesty is undeniably refreshing.

Fans of Dunham’s professional work (which admittedly, does not show up as much as I would have liked in this book), are bound to enjoy a look at the inner life of a woman who is both similar and very different from her title character, Hannah Horvath.  But those who enjoy candid non-fiction stories about the things we learn in youth and how they shape our adulthood will find this interesting reading as well.

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