Turning 26 this Sunday, I’m pledging to get cracking on that list of life goals I made for myself in middle school, especially after hearing this:
The 26-year-old Lena Dunham, filmmaker, actress, creator of the HBO series Girls and four-time Emmy nominee, just sold her debut essay collection to Random House in what has been called the most cut-throat auction of the year. No biggie.
The book, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned was acquired by the publishing house for more than $3.5 million and was said to have included the color, illustrations and humor that smelled of another best-seller to the liking of Tina Fey’s memoir Bossypants.
As The New York Times reports, “Ms. Dunham said in a statement that she was ‘thrilled to be working with and learning from the brilliant minds at Random House, and to be among their incredible roster of authors. I look forward to digging deep with Andy and co. to produce the most thoughtful and personal book I can.’
All right, all right, Lena – I mean, Ms. Dunham – what can we expect in this book of yours? A series of pages bounded together by your signature sarcasm, self-deprecating humor and raw-footage of hand-over-mouth moments? Apparently, all of the above. YES!
Topics include work, friendship, travel, sex, love and mortality – a variety of colors – that are all mixed together to create the grey that is Generation-Y women. Or, in Dunham’s words in The New York Times, “an account of some radically and hilariously inappropriate ways I have been treated at work/by professionals because of my age and gender.” Another idea promises to advise readers on how to wear “Red lipstick with a sunburn: How to dress for a business meeting and other hard-earned fashion lessons from the size 10 who went to the Met Ball.”
But really? Over $3 million. That seems like a little bit much. Despite the conversation starter that was the first season of Girls, ratings wise it was a modest hit, XX Factor writer Alyssa Rosenberg pointed out. So why is Dunham thought to be worth this much?
“Twenty-something women have a buffet of love, sex, and shopping advice at our disposal, but not often, or ever, with the humor and intelligence that Dunham can bring to any of those subjects. Dunham’s work on television and in the movies may not appeal to everyone, aiming as it does for humiliating, raw experiences. But part of what’s interesting about her book project, tentatively titled Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned, is that it appears to be about turning that grueling embarrassment and those profound fuckups into the kind of wisdom that can move a girl from flailing disaster into dignified success.”
And as we like to think here at The Grindstone the trials and tribulations of being a young woman working today, no matter the industry, are a very hot topic. We can’t wait to see what Lena does with it.
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