She’s an award-winning screenwriter, producer, director and actress, as well as a newly published author. Now Lena Dunham has revealed the books that have shaped her life.
The Girls star shared her ultimate reading list with the British edition of Elle magazine, opening up about childhood favourites, college reads and “moving memoirs”.
Here are some of the books that have made an impact on Lena’s life so far…
A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett
“I must have read this book two dozen times. I think all children are obsessed with reversals of fortune; it’s a way to examine class.The book was written so romantically that I wished desperately to wear rags and beg on the street for hot cross buns.”
Ariel, Sylvia Plath
“The mother of the confessional screed, the scorned lover’s lament, the daddy rant. Sylvia Plath will take you home for a one-night stand, set your curtains on fire, then convince you not to press charges. She’s also a commanding poet. I wrote my senior thesis on how Plath made way for Alanis Morissette and Fiona Apple. I didn’t get a great grade, but I stand by it. Sometimes I find myself mimicking her rhythms in my work, to much less arresting effect.”
Your Voice In My Head, Emma Forrest
“This is a moving memoir about what it’s like to be sick and what it takes to get well. Forrest perfectly renders her relationship with her therapist, capturing the complexity of coming to rely on someone you don’t know. She understands the romance of madness, and that growing up means falling out of love with self-destruction.”
Holidays On Ice, David Sedaris
“This book introduced me to the comic essay; and Sedaris is the god of the medium. It has memoir, satire and a faux family Christmas newsletter that is one of my favourite pieces of writing in US history.”
Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham (Fourth Estate) is out now. Read the full interview in Elle‘s December issue, on newsstands now.