But was it a memoir? The way smart ‘Girls’ talk — and think

books, Girls, HBO

lena-dunham-as-hannah-writing-computer-girls-book-dealMy favorite moment in last night’s “Girls” came towards the end of the episode, when Lena Dunham’s Hannah quizzed her therapist on his literary accomplishments.

“Have you written a book?” she asks.

Ever droll Bob Balaban as the therapist: “Yes.”

“Was it a therapeutic text?” she parries with a slight edge in her voice.


Edge increasing: “Was it a memoir?”

Shredding the last of her defenses, the therapist informs Hannah it was a book about a boy and his dog that sold 2.5 million copies.

There are many things I love about that exchange: the way it gently punctures Hannah’s grand ambitions and creative snobbery. The unexpected reveal of the therapist’s success as an author.

But more than anything, I love how it gives voice to a distinctive type: the smart and critical lit gal. This is not earnest Anne Hathaway in “Devil Wears Prada” or preternaturally perky Meg Ryan in countless Nora Ephron movies, but rather Chloe Sevigny’s aspiring book editor in “The Last Days of Disco.” Or even Hope Lange in “The Best of Everything.”

These women are ambitious, bookish and discerning.

I know these women. So does Dunham, a wildly talented writer-director who inked a lucrative deal to write a book of essays for Random House last fall.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.