The frequent collaborators have titled the imprint Lenny — the same name they gave the newsletter they co-created. In 2014, Random House published Dunham’s debut book, the New York Times bestseller “Not That Kind of Girl.”
Random House hinted that the imprint “will be a home for the kinds of exciting, emerging voices — in fiction and non-fiction — that Lena and Jenni Konner are already attracting and publishing so successfully in their newsletter and on their site.” The publishing behemoth added, “Working with Lena, Jenni and the editors of Lenny, we plan to publish a select number of titles each year to build a varied, compelling and voice-driven list.”
Dunham told BuzzFeed, “While we love our home on the internet, Jenni and I are both voracious readers (of books and book reviews) who are constantly trading titles and allowing them to stir us creatively.” “Our friendship often doubles as a book club,” she explained. “We feel like the Lenny voice lends itself to a diverse list of authors and we are so excited to work with Random House — they get our mission completely. Lenny books will aspire to push the ball forward on the issues that matter to our audience, with wit and style. We hope to see them sticking out of purses and riding public transportation everywhere.” The pair told The Hollywood Reporter that they have already selected their first title, though they did not disclose the details.
Dunham and Konner, the latter whom serves as the showrunner on “Girls,” are lining up a series of HBO projects that won’t give them much downtime after “Girls” airs its sixth and final season next year. Along with EPs Murray Miller and Ilene Landress, they are set to exec produce the series “Max” which Deadline describes as “a raucous comedy set in 1963 about the struggles of second-wave feminism, centered on an ambitious magazine writer, Maxine Woodruff (Zoe Kazan), looking for liberation.”
The duo are also collaborating on an series of 22-minute films for HBONow that will be written and directed exclusively by women-identifying writers and directors. Dunham and Konner have instituted a mandate that at least half the crew on these films be women. Though the deal has not officially closed, the tag-team are optimistic the series will happen and that it will have a lasting impact. Dunham said, “By creating a film series in which we’re giving work opportunities to people who identify as female and also let our [Lenny] readership look at the process, we’re hoping to just be a part of the change we want to see in the world.”
The strong feminist message behind Dunham and Konner’s latest ventures is exciting. We look forward to reading the titles under the Lenny imprint — maybe as Emma Watson Feminist Book Club selections? Now that would be some serious girl/woman-power.