Lena Dunham's $3 million-plus book deal picked up headlines and scorn in equal measure when it was announced in October (though not everyone thought it was a bad deal for the publisher to make.) What, people asked, could a 26-year-old offer in the way of life advice and anecdotes?
Today, the proposal itself was leaked by Gawker, and the answer is... a series of typically witty, entertaining and self-deprecating tales. She describes herself as a girl "with the beginnings of a FUPA" (look it up), and shares tales about one-night stands, traveling around the world and "psychotic overwrought emails I've sent to guys."
The chapters in the book are listed as Work, Friendship, Body, Sex, Love and Big Picture, featuring subheads including "How to dress for a business meeting and other hard-earned fashion lessons from the size 10 who went to the Met Ball" and why platonic bed-sharing is "a great idea (for people who hate themselves)"
The proposal also includes sample chapters, which are littered with tales from her time at Oberlin college as well as pop culture references peppered throughout, including Grey's Anatomy, John Waters, Joan Didion, Oprah, Andy Warhol and "Bad News Bears." It seems odd to be reading a book by someone who was in college when the movie Gone Baby Gone (yes, that's 2007) came out, but somehow it works. Of course, she's not an average 26-year-old either; one sample chapter opens "We've come to Japan because my mother is showing a small retrospective of her photographs at a gallery in Tokyo."
Gawker called it "an invitation to get lost in the mind of a girl who is lost in her own mind," and certainly it's very self-obsessed - but this is a book of anecdotes, after all.
The first 3/4 of the package is highly engaging, very sexual and very funny - however, it then confronts the darker realities of her issues with nutrition and diet, while also mentioning casually "I did some cocaine this evening!" without further comment.
The whole thing is compulsive reading. Even if this leak wasn't intentional, it should help build the hype over the book itself. We certainly can't wait to read it.
The proposal is
embedded below. available on Gawker's site. Here's some choice quotes:
I'm already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you, but also my future glory in having stopped you from trying an expensive juice cleanse or thinking that it was your fault when some guy suddenly got weird and defensive talking about your cool interests and job.
I basically didn't meet a Republican until I was nineteen, when I shared an ill-fated evening of love-making with our campus' resident conservative, who worse snakeskin boots and hosted a radio show called The Spin Chamber.
He was Snidely Whiplash and I was the innocent girl tied to the tracks, but I didn't want Dudley DoRight to come.
We had sex once and afterwards Allen wiped his penis on his own curtain, which made me feel I was a veteran of a war too gruesome to tell anyone about.
My friend Elizabeth put it well when she said "I don't mind the idea of dying but I'm stressed out about the logistics of the whole thing." Totally.