Monday, September 29, 2014

Why I'm Boycotting Lena Dunham's Book

A Little Rant to Start the Week:

There are certain things in life that piss me off.  Not a lot, but some.  And when I'm pissed, I'm pissed.  Lena Dunham (whose claim to fame is a mediocre HBO show), reportedly got a $3.7 million dollar advance for her upcoming memoir.  (That doesn't bother me.  More power to her.)  I won't put the title because I don't want to.  I had pre-ordered the book at Amazon, but cancelled it. The thing that chaps my ass is that she's charging people $38 to come to her book signing.  Right, you have to buy tickets...some of which are reportedly being scalped for up to $900.  To me, that is the epitome of greed, narcissism, bad marketing and just plain stupidity.  It makes me not like her as a person, author, actress or human being, mainly because she's stealing joy from readers.  Most of her followers are probably in her age group:  20's to 30's:  the struggling years for most who don't make $6 million a year like she does.  And she's denying them the opportunity to not only get their book autographed, but to meet someone they respect enough to buy a book from.  That is no small thing.  But, obviously, she doesn't get it.  I guess she's never been a poor book-lover who had to skip on groceries to buy books like I once did.

I have three shelves full of signed first editions by Pulitzer Prize winning authors...from the magnificent Ernest Gaines to John Updike and Rick Bragg. Robert Crais not only signed my books, but also let me take a photo with him and his lovely, Southern belle mother to whom he introduced me. James Lee Burke also took a photo with me and was patient and sweet. Most not only signed my books, but also allowed me to be a total groupie and take a picture with them at book festivals.  They were grateful, nice, polite and generous with their time.  They sweated in the South Louisiana heat to attend our annual Louisiana Book Festival which is on November 1 this year.  They appreciated ME.  After all, I was spending my HARD-EARNED money for their books.  Not ONE of them ever charged me money for the privilege of signing their name in my books.  John Updike even took the time to write an encouraging note to me about my writing!  John Updike, who has two Pulitzer Prizes for Fiction.

Also, according to, "some of Dunham's appearances will include seven performers, functioning as hype men. But, word on the street is the Girls creator isn't paying these artists, many of whom auditioned for the roles."  Right, she's stiffing them!!  Again, bad karma, and GREEDY!


Take your money and buy Rick Bragg's new biography coming out in October.  Every single book he's written has been just awesome and, for the record, he's a perfect gentleman:


A house without books is like a room without windows. ~Heinrich Mann


erin said...

marion, you said it well and rightly so. just what kind of world do we want to have? and who do we want to herald?


Karen said...

You've got to be kidding me! I have been thrilled with Dunham's success, simply on principle. Now I'm questioning HER principles! Disappointing.

Kelly said...

I don't even know who she is (we don't get or watch HBO), but I already don't like her. What gall!

Rick Bragg's column in the back of the Southern Living is always one of the best parts of the whole magazine. :)

Marion said...

Exactly, Erin. Well said. xo

Marion said...

Karen, I used to like her. But I'm so sick of the blatant hypocrisy of rich people in the entertainment industry. She is just clueless about "real" people like us. xo

Marion said...

Kelly, I know, right? The first reason I subscribe to "Southern Living" is to read his column. The one about his mom and the cats had me howling with laughter. I copied it and sent it to three relatives. Then there's those great recipes. :-) xo

glnroz said...

i only discovered Rick Bragg recently and you are correct, his books are great. Will heed your suggestion on the,, hummm, other book...glenn

Marion said...

Glenn, I envy you having newly discovered Bragg. I've met him personally twice and also heard him speak. He can make you laugh, cry and break your heart in five minutes. I re-read all of his books annually. Thanks for stopping by. xo

Ruth Mowry said...

I couldn't agree more.

This same sort of thing happened to me a couple months ago. I was going to participate in "the biggest meditation in history" or some such silly thing with Deepak Chopra, until I saw that he was charging forty-some dollars for people to attend the live meditation with him in Toronto or someplace. I couldn't abide the thought, and I withdrew my participation. He was going for a Guinness record too! I was appalled at such commercialization of something sacred.

A book signing is no less sacred! I love what you wrote, esp about the book signings you've been to.

Marion said...

Ruth, I understand totally. Is nothing sacred in our greedy society any more? To me it's all just very sad. I want to tell Lena that she's a spiritually poor little rich girl. Greed makes her ugly and pathetic to me. Thanks for stopping by. xo

Anonymous said...

I did not know this, but it doesn't surprise me. She strikes me as terribly self-aggrandizing, and this is proof positive.

Authors do not owe their readers signings, but those who do so graciously, cultivate devoted readers. I have been fortunate to have so many books of poems signed by authors, and those copies are cherished.

quid said...

Oh, give me a break! Charging for a book signing? The girl's gone mad. I am totally boycotting the book.