not that kind of girl-lena dunham (part won)

“He told me that popular kids never grow up to be interesting and that interesting kids are never popular. For the first time, I looked forward to school.” (167)

“It’s become horribly and offensively popular to say that someone is on the autism spectrum, so all I’ll say is his inability to notice when I was crying had to be some kind of pathology.” (74)

“I mean nice in that he has always respected my essential nature and offered me an expert mix of space and support. He’s a firm but benevolent leader. He talks to adults like they’re juvenile delinquents and kids like they’re adults. I’ve often tried to write a character based on him, but it’s such a challenge to distill his essence. I wasn’t always easy, and neither was he-after all, artists like to hole themselves up in their studios for days and pitch fits about bad lighting-but the careful, reliable attention of this man has been integral to my sense of security. To this day, the truest feeling of joy I have ever known is the door opening at a friend’s house to reveal my father-in his tweed overcoat-there to rescue me from a bad play date.” (40)

“There was something tender about him, broken and gentle, and I could imagine that sex with him might be similar. I wouldn’t have to pretend with him like I did with other guys. Maybe we would both cry. Maybe it would feel just as good as sharing a bed.” (19)

“My friend calls them Sunshine Stealers. Men who have been at it a little too long, who are tired of the ride but can’t get off. They’re looking for some new form of energy, of approval. It’s linked to sex, but it’s not the same. What they want to take from you is way worse than your thong in the back of their Lexus. It’s ideas, curiosity, an excitement about getting up in the morning and making things.” (199)

i may have judged lena dunham too harshly and too quickly. in my own defense, i judged her solely on girls. a few episodes of girls that i watched out of context. i admit now that i was wrong. after passing tiny furniture many times in my home branch, i finally decided to pick it up.

and then i changed my mind. i saw a rawness in this young woman that intrigued me-her vulnerability and her strength is just so complicated. and so, after missing her talk at the reference library (not on purpose-i was in ny), and not heeding the recommendations that had come my way from other writers, i finally called it in. and i loved it from the very first moment to the end.

this book is well-written and smart and funny and has great little drawings.

i pulled a lot of quotes, so like last week, i’m splitting them up. i’m starting with the elephant in the room-the role and influence of men on a woman’s creative process/life. i think we all know these men, or in the case of her father, we want to. we can also recognize these traits in ourselves and those around us, as influencers or those who have influence on others (all of us).

thank you, miz dunham. i look forward to engaging with more of your work. and looking up that strombo interview that i skipped being in the audience for because of the episode of your show that i watched at the audience coordinator’s home that i didn’t like (donald glover and a missy elliot quote were in it).

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