We shouldn’t be surprised that when Lena Dunham got together with YA author Judy Blume, their first conversation about “writing, celebrity, sex, censorship, and favorite breakfasts” was so earnest and entertaining that it was worthy of publication. The result is a limited-edition, 80-page book published by McSweeney’s The Believer.
Blume, a “Girls” fan, says she loves the show because she “never had that experience of being a young woman living on her own,” and by watching she gets to“to live it vicariously.” And Dunham, who grew up reading Judy Blume books like many of us, explains the importance of reading the authors’ books in the intro:“When we, as young women, are given the space to read, the act becomes a happy, private corner we can return to for the rest of our lives.” Aww. I’m already getting all soppy. After the jump, a complimentary excerpt, which will obviously make you want to go buy the thing for all the book loving ladies in your life. Spoiler: They talk about horses!
Judy Blume: My first favorite books were the ones in the Betsy-Tacy series. But they weren’t popular in school. I didn’t know anyone else who was reading them. I liked Nancy Drew, used my allowance to buy one every week at the Ritz Bookstore. In sixth grade I made up books to give book reports on.
Lena Dunham: You invented them?
JB: I did.
LD: You would report on a book that had never existed?
JB: I did.
LD: Were you ever caught?
JB: Nope. I always got an A on those.
LD: That’s incredible.
JB: I just wasn’t interested in the kinds of books I thought I was meant to be reading. I wasn’t that interested in stories about prairie girls or horse stories. I never read a horse book in my life, but I thought that’s what my friends were reading and that’s what I should be reading—Dobbin does this and Dobbin does that.
LD: That was the name of your series?
JB: It was about a horse named Dobbin, yes. I made up the characters and the theme and I stood up in front of the class and I gave my report.
LD: On the books you made up in your mind?
LD: That’s a literary hoax, basically.