I have to admit I had a bias going into this. Nothing against Lena Dunham personally or even necessarily because of something she did. I just don’t relate to Girls. It also drives me crazy when the media sticks the voice of a generation label on her. Hopefully she’ll be one voice of a generation. Yet I think my biggest problem is I consider myself an overwhelmingly private person. This kind of spewing of absolutely every thought that comes out of your head and thing that comes out of your body doesn’t make any sense to me. There are some things that I would never tell even my best friend. I admire Lena Dunham’s openness and honesty and at the same time it makes me cringe in some places.
I think after reading the book my opinion has changed in a way. If you take away all the sex and provocative stuff (that would be taking away a lot mind you) she is a very relatable and likable writer. I laughed out loud a couple of times and we even have a couple of messed up brain things in common. I too was afraid to sleep as a child. I always blamed mine as I got older on that, “Now I lay me down to sleep,” prayer. If I should die before I wake… that’s not an option an overly imaginative child likes to think about. I even share some of her issues with food. She’s also a good writer in the sense the books a fast read. The downside to that was besides the part below I didn’t find anything in the book that was particularly deep or meaningful.
The rape chapter is one that throws me. I have no idea what happened to Lena Dunham that night but she starts that chapter by saying she’s an unreliable narrator and that she learned “rape” as a child and accused random people of it. And then she goes onto say that she remembers that night differently at different times and that she was on pills and cocaine. It all bugged me in a way I can’t quite put my finger on. Is she dissembling due to the horrible thing that might have happened to her? It’s obviously a hugely emotional issue for her and I admire her for talking about it but I (and this is just my personal opinion) almost wish she had chosen to do so in a format outside of the book especially that unreliable narrator part and another part later in the book where she states that she often times takes bits of other people’s stories and memories.
Would I recommend the book? Yes but beware that there’s a lot of sex and you’re going to know more unfortunately about her bits than you may want to but it’s an interesting read and I can see she’s a hugely talented writer. Personally I’m not one for this type of sharing especially so much about sex and other people’s private moments. But I did like the book. The strangest thing it did was make me understand why so many people adore her while an equal amount of people can’t stand her.