By: John Harris
Last month, Random House released Not That Kind Of Girl, the hotly-anticipated memoir by Lena Dunham, creator and star of the hit HBO series Girls. The following are excerpts from the book that critics are calling “disturbingly out of character [for Dunham]; very, very upsetting”, “dark, sordid and terrifying in a way no one could or would reasonably have expected”, and “most likely a badly carried-off spoof, concocted by some idiot hack at a web-comedy outlet.”
“We screamed through the Mojave Desert at 120 miles an hour in a ‘borrowed’ 1966 Plymouth Barracuda ‘me, a Vietnam vet with day-terrors, [Girls co-star] Zosia [Mamet], and a Harikrishna we picked up at a gas station outside Flagstaff ‘freebasing fluffy, snow-white Columbian and chasing it with a bottle of unlabeled absinthe purchased from some faceless Algerian in Reno, into which I had crushed a healthy handful of bennies. But we could’ve been mainlining rat poison for all we cared; whatever it took to push reality away in chunks large enough to obliterate the living nightmare of human consciousness. And if the speed of the car and the speed in the absinthe didn’t do the trick, there were always the blood-spattered cockfighting pits of Tijuana.” ‘Chapter 2, pg. 21
“Lucky was a part-time, one-armed drug dealer squatting in the French Quarter whose loss of symmetry in the limb department had done him no favors in terms of his attitude, best described as that of a distempered Brazilian street mongrel ‘though that would be an unfavorable comparison for the dog, RE: hygiene. ‘What d’ya want?’ Lucky snarled. ‘You’ve been stiffin’ me for weeks!’ I dropped a roll of hundreds into his lap and replied sweetly, ‘Lucky, this one’s on HBO. Let’s ride that Horse into the sunset; I don’t wanna be anymore.'” ‘Chapter 4, pg. 47
“My months in Tangier crawled by in a haze of hashish smoke and a parade of hired ‘houseboys’; lithe, quiet natives from the nearby slums. Most days, I could be found lying on an overstuffed divan in an advanced state of undress and altered perception, languidly caressing a pet gazelle I had purchased on a whim and named ‘Judd,’ after a dear friend. Bit by bit, I lost my grip on reality, then on sanity, and finally on my previous concept of what sanity even was, so that in the end, I deemed myself sane. It was glorious.” ‘Chapter 6, pg. 61.
“To this day, I don’t remember a single scene of Girls I’ve filmed. The DVD box sets are the only proof I was even there.” ‘Chapter 9, pg. 102
“I don’t go looking for it, but I sure-as-shit don’t back down when some sorely misguided dummy feels like mixing it up. Case in point: that pair from Broad City, Glazer and Jacobson. One day, they trot into my favorite watering hole, where I’d been propping up the end of the bar for the better part of a bleary afternoon. Doing their best impression of pretending I didn’t exist, up they saunter right alongside yours truly. Jacobson, she yawns, motions to the bartender and says ‘nice to be the only people in this dump who know how to offer up an authentic representation of a young woman’s experience of New York City.’ Well, that’s all my switchblade needed to hear, and it practically jumped out of my boot and into my hand. I dragged the flat part of the blade across Glazer’s face: ‘All right, ladies: let’s tango.'” ‘Chapter 13, pg. 221