Not That Kind of Girl

Not That Kind of Girl : A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned"

3.32 (94,290 ratings by Goodreads)
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MICHIKO KAKUTANI, THE NEW YORK TIMES NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BUZZFEED, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, AND LIBRARY JOURNAL For readers of Nora Ephron, Tina Fey, and David Sedaris, this hilarious, wise, and fiercely candid collection of personal essays establishes Lena Dunham the acclaimed creator, producer, and star of HBO s Girls as one of the most original young talents writing today. In Not That Kind of Girl, Dunham illuminates the experiences that are part of making one s way in the world: falling in love, feeling alone, being ten pounds overweight despite eating only health food, having to prove yourself in a room full of men twice your age, finding true love, and most of all, having the guts to believe that your story is one that deserves to be told. Take My Virginity (No Really, Take It) is the account of Dunham s first time, and how her expectations of sex didn t quite live up to the actual event ( No floodgate had been opened, no vault of true womanhood unlocked ); Girls & Jerks explores her former attraction to less-than-nice guys guys who had perfected the dynamic of disrespect she found so intriguing; Is This Even Real? is a meditation on her lifelong obsession with death and dying what she calls her genetically predestined morbidity. And in I Didn t F*** Them, but They Yelled at Me, she imagines the tell-all she will write when she is eighty and past caring, able to reflect honestly on the sexism and condescension she has encountered in Hollywood, where women are treated like the paper thingies that protect glasses in hotel bathrooms necessary but infinitely disposable. Exuberant, moving, and keenly observed, Not That Kind of Girl is a series of dispatches from the frontlines of the struggle that is growing up. I m already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you, Dunham writes. But if I can take what I ve learned and make one menial job easier for you, or prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine will have been worthwhile. Praise for Not That Kind of Girl The gifted Ms. Dunham not only writes with observant precision, but also brings a measure of perspective, nostalgia and an older person s sort of wisdom to her portrait of her (not all that much) younger self and her world. . . . As acute and heartfelt as it is funny. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times It s not Lena Dunham s candor that makes me gasp. Rather, it s her writing which is full of surprises where you least expect them. A fine, subversive book. David Sedaris This book should be required reading for anyone who thinks they understand the experience of being a young woman in our culture. I thought I knew the author rather well, and I found many (not altogether welcome) surprises. Carroll Dunham Witty, illuminating, maddening, bracingly bleak . . . [Dunham] is a genuine artist, and a disturber of the order. The Atlantic As Dunham proves beyond a shadow of a doubt in Not That Kind of Girl, she s not remotely at risk of offering up the same old sentimental tales we ve read dozens of times. The Los Angeles Review of Books"show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 265 pages
  • 144.78 x 210.82 x 27.94mm | 453.59g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 081299499X
  • 9780812994995
  • 30,429

Review quote

"It's not Lena Dunham's candor that makes me gasp. Rather, it's her writing--which is full of surprises where you least expect them. A fine, subversive book."--David Sedaris "Always funny, sometimes wrenching, these essays are a testament to the creative wonder that is Lena Dunham."--Judy Blume "Dunham's writing is just as smart, honest, sophisticated, dangerous, and charming as her work on "Girls." Its essential quality is a kind of joyful super-awareness: of herself, the world, the human. Reading her makes you glad to be in the world, and glad that she's in it with you."--George Saunders "Very few women have become famous for being who they actually are, nuanced and imperfect. When honesty happens, it's usually couched in self-ridicule or self-help. Dunham doesn't apologize like that--she simply tells her story as if it might be interesting. "Not That Kind of Girl" is hilarious, artful, and staggeringly intimate; I read it shivering with recognition."--Miranda July "This book should be required reading for anyone who thinks they understand the experience of being a young woman in our culture. I thought I knew the author rather well, and I found many (not altogether welcome) surprises."--Carroll Dunhamshow more


Lena Dunham is the creator of the critically acclaimed HBO series Girls, for which she also serves as executive producer, writer, and director. She has been nominated for eight Emmy awards and has won two Golden Globes, including Best Actress, for her work on Girls. She was the first woman to win the Directors Guild of America award for directorial achievement in comedy. Dunham has also written and directed two feature-length films (including Tiny Furniture in 2010) and is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Joana Avillez is an illustrator and the author of Life Dressing, a tale of two women who live to dress and dress to live. Her artwork has been featured in The New York Times, New York, and The Wall Street Journal."show more

Rating details

94,290 ratings
3.32 out of 5 stars
5 16% (14,983)
4 29% (27,266)
3 34% (31,860)
2 15% (14,172)
1 6% (6,009)
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