Surprise! Lena Dunham Has Released A Chapbook of Diary Entries, Ephemera, Thoughts
In the sneak-attack tradition usually employed by musicians dropping a hot mixtape, Lena Dunham has released a surprise book just in time for your beach reading needs. The chapbook is called Is It Evil Not To Be Sure? and contains a collection of diary entries from Dunham’s 2005 and 2006 journals, or what she otherwise refers to as her “Creative Snippets And Observations Journal.”
The idea behind the book was to share Dunham’s vulnerabilities, insecurities and emotional and creative growth as a young woman before her explosion into fame. The hope is that it will serve as an encouraging and possibly empowering tool for young women looking to find their way, and Dunham plans to donate all the proceeds to Girls Write Now, a New York-based organization dedicated to mentoring and cultivating creative young women.
In a post in Lenny Letter , Dunham shared her intentions behind the book:
“Memoir will never not be my favorite genre (despite the fact that it gets maligned as a way for solipsistic lazy bitches to get and maintain their reputations). So much beautiful, culturally essential work has come out of the act of a woman monitoring her own emotional pulse — books ranging from Sylvia Plath’s highly autobiographical novel The Bell Jar to Maryse Holder’s Give Sorrow Words to Zlata’s Diary, a young-adult account of a child in war-torn Bosnia. Zora Neale Hurston’s Letters. I Await the Devil’s Coming by Mary MacLane. The fucking Diary of Anne Frank. My college diaries don’t begin to join their ranks, but they’re a reminder (to me and I hope to you) that your experiences, large and small, are worth preserving.”
As someone who’s kept countless journals I always find it fascinating to read the styles in which other people record their private thoughts. There’s a universally voyeuristic nature to it that pulls people in. The fact that the proceeds are going to Girls Write Now also makes the project seem more like a gesture of opening up to her female fans, rather than purely self-promotional. This feeling of spontaneity could be a part of the project’s presentation, but who are we to judge?
I am slightly terrified to see of what some of her journal entries contain given the scandal that broke out after her book Not That Kind Of Girl shared stories of her sexually touching her sister and later outing her sister’s sexual orientation to her parents. I wonder, will this book be full of strictly creative musings or will it delve further into her personal life? For those interested in finding out, here’s where you can buy it.