The Washington Post

Lena Dunham reportedly scored more than $3.5 million in book deal

Lena Dunham, talking with the New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum at the New Yorker Festival on Sunday. (Amy Sussman/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE NEW YORKER)

As previously noted in this blog and elsewhere, Lena Dunham was shopping around a book proposal as of early last week. Apparently she didn’t have to shop long.

The New York Times reports that the creator of HBO’s “Girls” has signed a deal with Random House to write “Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned,” a tome that will be filled with Dunham’s wry insights about life, work and romance for the millennial set. While Random House did not confirm the size of Dunham’s advance, the Times notes that the bidding war over the book — which some are characterizing as the next “Bossypants” — exceeded $3.5 million, which means Random House probably paid more than that.

Even though Dunham’s publisher is not discussing the cash, that’s not stopping the rest of under-compensated America from going, “$3.5 million???,” nor is it stopping Gawker from snarking on her lucrative situation. (Although, as Gawker commenter MisterHippity sarcastically but rightly notes, “For that kind of money, you’d almost think people were constantly writing about her and paying attention to her or something.”)

Hey, Lena Dunham is a young woman who has managed to pretty much craft a career completely on her own terms. The fact that she’s done that may make some people jealous. But it’s also a sign that actually doing such a thing is a real possibility for other women, or just other people period. So maybe her comical advice might be worth listening to.

And if $3.5 million seems like kind of a lot, just remember: Lena Dunham — or at least her character on “Girls” — is a voice of a generation. If she were the voice of her generation, she probably would have gotten at least $6 million.

Now enjoy this trailer for “Girls,” which ends with this now ironic dialogue exchange:

“Gynecologist: You couldn’t pay me enough to be 24 again.

Dunham/Hannah: Well, they’re not paying me at all.”

Oh wait a second, yes, they are. Except now Dunham is 26. And it’s very possible that Random House might find that she’s worth it.

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.


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