Lena Dunham: The Voice Of Our Generation

Lena Dunham(above) Photograph by Terry Richardson Words by Elizabeth Pollard

Lena Dunham owes the beauty of her writing to her gritty and sometimes a little uncomfortable honesty. The eldest of two daughters by successful artist parents, Dunham grew up in New York City surrounded by art, education and culture. Many of the friends she met at school and college have gone on to be the stars of her critically acclaimed film, ‘Tiny Furniture’ and HBO series, ‘Girls’. The former of which she made straight out of college and as with Girls, was inspired by her own situation as a recent graduate who is forced to move back home with her mother to find she is over educated and under qualified for the real world of work.

Life imitating art (or vice versa) isn’t exactly a revelation, but what makes Dunham so successful is that her experiences match those of an entire generation of twenty-somethings. Unlike much film and TV, the painfully real experiences Dunham’s characters encounter are not sugar coated or hollywood-ised. Financial hardship, weird sex, bad relationships and body hang-ups (of which, refreshingly, Lena seems to have none) is all accompanied by a consuming fear of the world… and ourselves. Her articulation of life of the “floating generation” resonates with thousands of us, is painfully accurate and hilariously funny; I can’t wait to see how her voice and perspective evolves with age and experience.

A book of essays illustrating these themes, titled ‘Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned‘, is to be published by Random House this October.

Lena DunhamHBO series ‘Girls’

 

Lena DunhamOn the cover of ID Magazine

 

Lena DunhamOn the cover of US Vogue

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