Lena Dunham’s “A Box of Puppies” published in The New Yorker

REVIEW of: “A Box of Puppies: Lifelong Canine Cravings” by Lena Dunham, featured in the March 25, 2013 New Yorker. (Read the full article here.)

Lamby, Dunham’s dog, is a mutt who came from a rescue shelter in Brooklyn. Newyorker.com, Photograph by Robin Schwartz.

Lena Dunham has been a darling of the press lately, and her newest installment is an article in “The New Yorker” about her dog, Lamby.The piece reads more like a personal essay, which is undoubtedly Dunham’s forte, but it seems out of place in a magazine. Nevertheless she is successful; you actually want to keep reading.

In her candid style, Dunham narrates readers through her wonky childhood obsession with dogs and her journey to get one of her own. As a misfit, she felt the need for a companion, leading her to ride in some man’s sketchy van to rescue newborn pit bull puppies from a cardboard box. (Spoiler alert: she didn’t get to keep them.)

Continuing through her adolescence, we learn that Lena finally does get a family dog, but it became more of her mother’s pet than her own. Flash-forward to the present, and Lamby, her new rescue mutt, enters the picture. This portion of the article made me smile. Any dog owner can relate to the growing pains of a new furry friend entering the family, from dealing with significant others who are allergic, to “siren” barking and even having the dog follow you around constantly, as it does not like to be alone, which Dunham details.

My one caveat with the article was the ending; Dunham gets artsy and it is annoying. I enjoyed reading her canine life story and hearing about her trials and tribulations with Lamby, but why go and ruin the whole article with a dumb, dramatic ending? So cliché; I’m over it. The finale of her piece reads as follows:

“‘I’m not going anywhere,’ I tell Lamby. He wakes up only one more time in the night, with a single bark that trails into silence. I kiss his little mouth, his ears that smell like corn chips and old water. ‘Sh-h-h . . . I love you. I love you. I love you so much.’ There is no one to call for help. We don’t need any help. He is mine, and I am old enough to have him. We are all adults here.”

Despite the ending, Dunham’s piece in The New Yorker is an enjoyable and fun read. Be sure to check it out here, or in the magazine’s March 25, 2013 issue.


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