I devoured this book.
It got delivered on Saturday in a sturdy brown box (thanks amazon prime), and by Monday afternoon, I had that empty feeling that comes when you’ve finished something good (not unlike binge-watching a tv show).
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not her biggest fan. I didn’t get pulled into “Girls”, despite multiple attempts to sit through the episodes, and I am guilty of once comparing her body to that of a turtle (I’m only human). But this book is good.
And it’s good firstly because Lena Dunham is a good writer. She writes deftly about first times, first jobs, and first therapists. She makes it something more than just a confessional, or “just a memoir.” Coming from a generation that published this book (and I’m going to add this one as well), this book brings substance and art back to the genre.
Secondly, she never questions whether her experiences are worth sharing. That would be the biggest critique of a twenty-something upper-class white girl writing a memoir. Probably exactly the reason why, in the title, she puts “learned” in quotes. It’s one of the first things she addresses in the book – almost as if to say, “Let’s get this out of the way.” Because, honestly, isn’t it about time we owned our stories?
“There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman.”
If I’m being truthful, I ended up picking the book (instead of this one) because of Michicko Kakutani. And homegirl never steers me wrong.