Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
Most people know Lena Dunham from her work on the HBO series Girls, which features young women in their early 20s trying to “make it” post college in New York. Even if you haven’t seen the show, you’ve probably seen – or at least heard about – her unabashed nakedness and sexuality. She is the embodiment of the millennial generation, struggling with love, sex, dieting, jobs, and her own narcissism. Dunham is either loved or hated, has a strong sense of self and feminism, and isn’t ashamed of it. Yet, she’s also insecure and obsessed with death, and not as comfortable with sex as her portrayal of Hannah may imply.
Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” is Dunham’s first memoir, and she speaks candidly about those insecurities, her mental health issues, and her experiences growing up with “artists” as parents. She’s privileged, wrapped up in her own petty dramas and issues, but there’s something relatable about her, for a 20-something woman, at least.
Perhaps reading these logs would’ve been better, but as I listened to the audiobook – narrated by Dunham and the reason I chose to listen rather than read – it felt repetitive and unnecessary. The narration itself was typical Dunham – she isn’t the best narrator in the world, at times her voice can be grating and pompous – but it fits her book, and I prefer to listen to memoirs when they’re read by the author, it makes it more personal.
I loved getting her perspectives on topics like friends, sex, love, and work, and I do think it’s an important read for women in the 20s, but am not sure people outside that demographic would find it enjoyable.