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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) blocks Arkansas Razorbacks guard Tramon Mark (12) during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
Free falling
February 20, 2024
Jace LaViolette (17) an Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle celebrating a home run during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
GALLERY: Baseball vs. UIW
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) catches a pop fly during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) blocks Arkansas Razorbacks guard Tramon Mark (12) during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
Free falling
February 20, 2024
Jace LaViolette (17) an Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle celebrating a home run during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
GALLERY: Baseball vs. UIW
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) catches a pop fly during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024

Book Review: ‘Not That Kind of Girl’

She’s an actress, screenwriter, producer and most recently an author.
Lena Dunham, the 28-year-old creator of HBO’s “Girls,” may seem like she has it all together, but in her memoir, “Not that Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s ‘Learned,’” Dunham dives into her past, revealing both the glamorous and not-so-glamorous remnants of growing up.
Dunham, by the way, stars in her own show as Hannah Horvath, an “emerging” adult in New York City and aspiring novelist who’s trying to write her way to success. (Dunham beat her character to the presses.)
Finding inspiration in the 1980s best-seller “Having It All” by Helen Gurley Brown, a former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, Dunham divides her memoir into five sections — Love & Sex, Body, Friendship, Work and Big Picture.
Each chapter is a personal essay, filled with one quirky, nuanced experience after the next. The writing is candid and her execution is clever. Illustrations and numbered lists throughout, break up the flow of a traditional cover-to-cover story.
She opens with an introduction, writing that there is “nothing gutsier to [her] than a person announcing that their story deserves to be told, especially if it is a woman” — the feminist reader will pump their fist in the air.
At some moments, Dunham seems a little too enveloped in her own story, especially the Section “Work,” where she is waiting to pummel her adversaries with her list of achievements when she’s 80. Dunham’s book tours have been selling out and she received a $3.5 million advance from Random House publishing in 2012, which ultimately gives her bragging rights, if she wants.
Regardless, she is loved by her fans, and she is sure to be loved even more for focusing on topics like friends, bad sexual experiences, body image, dieting and weight loss/gain.
In section one, Dunham chronicles her sexual adventures (or misadventures) during her time at Oberlin College and then post-graduation. She more or less paints caricatures of her lovers, but in doing so readers gain insight into Dunham’s struggles with being comfortable with her sexuality. She gives her readers an honest approach that sometimes sex isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
What will ultimately swivel heads and garner applause from those who have faced sexual assault is the chapter titled “Barry,” where she recounts an ambiguous sexual encounter with an Oberlin College super-senior. The chapter has recently drawn criticism because Dunham never outright says that she was raped and never fully names the offender, which some say is irresponsible. She discusses that although she was intoxicated, the encounter was unwelcome. Dunham writes, “I never gave him permission” — the narrative many young women share.
At times, Dunham seems like she’s trying too much to hold her own as a writer. Her more relatable moments are in chapters like, “Diet Is a Four-letter Word.” Dunham describes her child body as a “tiny, tan dreamboat,” only to be overtaken by puberty and a long-winded stint with veganism. She then spends eleven pages rewriting a food diary she kept in 2010, which will likely resonate with many young women who undergo the exhausting process of “yoyo” dieting.
Dunham is most endearing when she writes about how she adores her sister Grace, who came out to her when she was 17. (Dunham is outspoken about her support of gay marriage and GLBT rights.)
While many of Dunham’s experiences sometimes aren’t relatable in the slightest — she was fascinated with death as a child and as a teenager, had a dinner party that was featured in the New York Times — her authenticity peers through. She’s frank about her endometriosis diagnosis and her relationship with her therapist. She’s also spent time “ambling” along, looking for love.
Dunham is just another girl trying to pave her way in the world and readers are sure to identify with that.

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