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Does Lena Dunham have any secrets left?

Get a sneak peek at her new book to determine if it’s worth the read.

Lena Dunham tells us what she's learned in her new book. Credit: Autumn de Wilde Lena Dunham tells us what she's learned in her new book.
Credit: Autumn de Wilde

We’re used to Lena Dunham baring it all. In interviews, on Twitter or on “Girls,” nothing seems to be too private for the 28-year-old to reveal. She hasn’t been “famous” for very long, but so much has been said about her that it’s difficult to imagine anything new emerging. Well, think again.

“Not That Kind Of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s ‘Learned’” (out September 30) is Lena Dunham’s new book of personal essays and it’s surprisingly, well, full of surprises. She addresses all the topics you not only expect but want her to (sex, getting naked on camera, friendship, body image and work) but in a way she hasn’t talked about in such length before. Here, we pull some of our favorite words of wisdom and revelations.


On dating jerks:
“When someone shows you how little you mean to them and you keep coming back for more, before you know it, you start to mean less to yourself. … Being treated like s--t is not an amusing game or a transgressive intellectual experiment. It’s something you accept, condone and learn to believe you deserve.”

What nude scenes are really like to film:
“It’s f---ing weird. Yes, it’s a job, but most people’s jobs don’t consist of slamming your vagina against the flaccid, nylon-wrapped penis of a guy wearing massive amounts of foundation to conceal his assne.”

Why she tried veganism:
“While my veganism began as a deeply felt moral position, it soon morphed into a not-very-effective eating disorder. I never thought of it as a diet, but it was a way to limit the vast world of food that I had once loved so dearly.”

On growing up:
“I thought I would marry my boyfriend and grow old and sick of him. I thought I would keep my friends, and we’d make different, new memories. None of that happened. Better things happened. Then why am I so sad?”

When she’ll have kids:
“It’s time to get started now. And why not? I wonder. I have a job. I am in love. We have an extra bedroom that we are currently using for shoes, boxes, and occasional guests. I am told my dog is unusually good with children. I already look f---ing pregnant. … But I resent them. They’re constancy, their intrusion on my relationship and free time and my naps and my imagination and my heart. They’ve come too soon, and I can’t do any of what I had planned. All I can do is survive.”

What about Jack? (Spoiler alert)
Dunham only mentions her boyfriend Jack Antonoff – the lead guitarist of Fun. – in her book twice. The first is when she tells him about a traumatic sexual experience from her past. His response is both endearingly sweet and too graphic to print here. The other is when she mentions that they’ve envisioned having kids together. And that’s it for Jack.

Lena Dunham book reading:
September 30, 7 - 9 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Union Square
33 E. 17th St., 212-253-0810

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence

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