OK, now that’s success. This week’s issue of The New Yorker includes a chapter from the lovely “Girls” main character Lena Dunham, titled “Difficult Girl: Growing up, with help.”
Dunham was born in New York City, Her father, Carroll Dunham, is Protestant, and her mother, Laurie Simmons, is Jewish.
The excerpt deals with eight-year-old Lena and her fears. We’re including the first two paragraphs, go check out the rest, it’s worth it, read it today.
I am eight, and I am afraid of everything. The list of things that keep me up at night includes but is not limited to: appendicitis, typhoid, leprosy, unclean meat, foods I haven’t seen emerge from their packaging, foods my mother hasn’t tasted first so that if we die we die together, homeless people, headaches, rape, kidnapping, milk, the subway, sleep.
An assistant teacher comes to school with a cold sore. I am convinced he’s infected with MRSA, a skin-eating staph infection. I wait for my own flesh to erode. I stop touching my shoelaces (too filthy) or hugging adults outside my family. In school, we are learning about Hiroshima, so I read “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, ” and I know instantly that I have leukemia. A symptom of leukemia is dizziness, and I have that, when I sit up too fast or spin around in circles. So I quietly prepare to die in the next year or so, depending on how fast the disease progresses.
Like I said, read the full chapter on The New Yorker now and figure out if you’re interested in buying “Not That Kind of Girl” when it’s released, October 7.