Gawker has published (exclusively, until the rest of the Internet also uploaded the PDF) Lena Dunham’s 66-page book proposal for an advice book, which Random House purchased the rights for back in October for $3.7 million.
The website also excerpts a dozen sentences from the proposal, including “I’ve been in therapy since I was seven” and “At 24 I felt like an old maid…”
This is not the first time this week that Dunham’s words have been taken out of their original context. The creator (and star, director and writer) of HBO’s Girls came under brief fire on Twitter earlier in the week after Forbes contributor Helaine Olen published a piece called “Lena Dunham Doesn’t Write For Money And She Doesn’t Think You Should Either.” Olen quotes Dunham as saying writing for money is “weird” and that people write for “glory,” among other things.
Here is the context (an essay Dunham had written to accompany Judd Appatow’s published This is 40 screenplay), in which Dunham had said writing for money is weird:
“There are many reasons to write. Some of us write for glory — to spite the people who stuffed us in lockers, to remind the lovers who didn’t love us just what they’re missing out on, to alter history and have future generations sing our names.
Others write for money (probably a weird plan, even when it does work out).
But some of us, as Judd reminded me in a recent e-mail,’write to figure something out.’”
The fact that Olen had cut and paste from the source out of context was quickly revealed in the comment section of the Forbes piece, and by bookriot.com. Apologies to Dunham immediately disseminated on Twitter.
Dunham, who directed, wrote and starred in a feature length film, Tiny Furniture at the age of 23, and regularly contributes essays to the New Yorker, often elicits vitriol.
She has not yet commented about the Forbes piece or on Gawker publishing her book proposal.