Writer, director, activist and feminist Lena Dunham never fails to be controversial and strike a nerve in someone in most—if not all—of her work. In “Not That Kind Of Girl,” Dunham’s memoir, she takes it to a whole new level; this time, it’s even more personal.
The book is split into five parts, and each one focuses on a different aspect of Dunham’s life. The parts are: Love & Sex, Body, Friendship, Work and Big Picture.
Dunham tells a multitude of both funny and touching stories about life events, including her first sexual experience, the time she worked in a high-end baby clothing store, various diets she’s tried and the summers she spent at a summer camp. She also shares lists about people and things, as well as her loves and concerns for today’s world.
Dunham does all of this in such a way that forces readers to try to hold back either laughter or tears if they’re reading in public. I know I did a number of times.
There have been so many negative statements made regarding “Not That Kind Of Girl,” mostly regarding Dunham’s lack of a filter when she talks about certain things, especially in one chapter when she shares a brief story about an experience she had with her younger sister.
While a lot of people give her backlash about the way she freely talks about sex, nudity and other taboo things in society, I find her honesty to be refreshing. So many people tend to hold back the true, gory details in their memoirs. Dunham lays everything out on the table for her readers, and it’s something I admire more than anything about her.
“Not That Kind Of Girl” is more than a young woman’s account of life events, though. If readers read between the lines and really listen to what Dunham has written, they’ll find that it’s a book made to help other young women—and even young men—to be successful and reach for the stars, much like Dunham has learned to do throughout her life. It can be read as either a memoir or a self-help book, and that’s the beauty of it.
Dunham “tells you what she’s ‘learned,’” as the tagline on the cover suggests, and by reading the book, readers can learn from everything that the author has to tell.
If you’re already a fan of Dunham because of HBO’s “Girls,” her films or her activism, I highly recommend you pick up this book. If you’re critical of Dunham because of what you hear, read the book and find out for yourself. You might end up enjoying her as both a writer and a person.