Lena Dunham just turned 30, and as much as Hannah Horvath's famous "voice of a generation" quote from the Girls pilot was played for laughs back in 2012, the person who wrote it is pretty damn close to fulfilling her character's prophecy. With five successful seasons of an HBO show, a best-selling book, a widely circulated newsletter, and a growing reputation as one of the most outspoken feminists in entertainment under her belt, it's easy to see why.
Now the writer-actress-activist has surprised her fans by publishing a brand-new book that features her personal diary entries from 2005-2006 and aims to help aspiring female writers find their voice. Titled Is It Evil Not to Be Sure? the work is described as "a candid, chaotic, and occasionally poetic snapshot of a young person becoming an adult." All proceeds will go to Girls Write Now, a nonprofit that pairs young female writers in New York with professional mentors. According to USA Today, all 2,000 copies of the signed print edition have already sold out, but the ebook is still available.
As for why she decided to publish the book, Dunham told BuzzFeed that the idea sprouted when she came across her "Creative Snippets and Observations Journal" from a decade ago while she was recuperating from surgery in bed.
"I was, of course, full of the kind of mortification that is part and parcel with meeting a former version of yourself, a woefully misguided girl desperate to be embraced by even the least exemplary specimens of young American malehood," she said. "But I was also moved by — maybe even proud of — how carefully I had recorded that period of time, my younger self's commitment to capturing the kinds of hyper-internal formative moments so often lost to adulthood."
So what better way to encourage young women to write than to show how she did it when she was their age?
"That's why I thought the diaries might be worth sharing as a short book, with proceeds going to Girls Write Now and their mission to give young women the tools to tell their own stories," Dunham explained further. "I can't think of a more admirable goal for an organization, or a better reason to expose the oft troubling thought patterns of my final teenage year."
(H/T: The Cut)
Cover image: HBO via YouTube