Review: 'Not That Kind of Girl' by Lena Dunham

September 25, 2014 2:06 PM

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I came to Lena Dunham, appropriately enough, at my therapist's office. I was paging through the Aug. 13, 2012, issue of The New Yorker, waiting to begin my weekly session of labored oversharing, when I stumbled upon "First Love," her essay about being blocked on Facebook by her ex-boyfriend's mother. I missed Dunham's 2010 film "Tiny Furniture" and had yet to catch an episode of HBO's "Girls," but in "First Love," her candor and wit came through in this brave, beguiling way that was both self-effacing and self-absorbed and, above all, hilarious. I was hooked.

It seems quaint, rereading the essay two years later, to see lines like, "My mom is a Long Island Jew, and my dad is a Connecticut Wasp." Did we really not know who her parents — the photographer Laurie Simmons and the painter Carroll Dunham — were back then? Were her childhood and young adulthood s...

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