Random House and Lena Dunham slipped to The New York Times the news that RH is where she will write her humorous essay book Not That Kind Of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned. The publisher will pay her upwards of $3.5 million, which was pretty much where Deadline pegged it last week. Now, the question is: does this book have any chance to earn out? It was constantly being compared in the press to Tina Fey’s Bossypants, which went for a reported $5 million and became a bestseller. You knew that book was going to sell for a pile of dough: Fey was the head writer of Saturday Night Live, she anchored Weekend Update for years, and created and starred in the hit NBC sitcom 30 Rock and who can forget her wonderful appearance with Steve Martin during the Oscars several years ago? She gets offered the hosting gig all the time, but has been too busy to say yes. She is a big star.
I gotta admit, I don’t get Lena Dunham. Her film, Tiny Furniture, got some acclaim, but grossed only $392,000. I found her HBO comedy series Girls to be too cringe-worthy to watch, and tuned out after the first couple of episodes when her character went off to have sex with her indifferent booty call partner. When she spoke to him too much as he was trying to focus on the task at hand, he tells her, “Let’s play the quiet game.” I hate seeing young women demeaned and punted the series after that. But then again, I am a 52-year old fossil and certainly not the target audience for this book by the 26-year old talent. She may become the voice of her generation, but right now she seems to have more of a cult than mainstream following, and you have to sell a lot of books to recoup a $3.6 million advance. That must have been some proposal to get so many publishers hot and bothered!